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If it is right to do right, then it is smart to do right

Back in high school I had a really good mentor named Nona Kelly. Nona was the smartest woman I knew. She shared with me a saying that her dad had given her, “If it is right to do right, then it is smart to do right.” I’ve often thought about that over the years since. And her dad’s saying still rings true today. There’s such a thing as doing the “smart right”.

Doing the right things for the right reasons is a perfect combo. Some people do the right things for the wrong reasons. Others do the wrong things for the right reasons. And a few do the wrong things for the wrong reasons.

As leaders, our job is to set priorities and goals (the right things) and provide values/code of conduct (the right reasons). More importantly, as leaders, our responsibility is to ensure the balance of the right things and right reasons.

Here are four ideas you can use in your next “doing the right things rightly” check-up:

  1. Good goal setting cadence ensures people understand today’s charter and tomorrow’s destination.
  2. Stretch goals are great for challenging the team to their full potential as long as it is balanced with doing it the right way.
  3. Don’t shy away from “talking out the conflicts” between “what needs to happen” and “why it needs to happen”– it helps the team internalize and perform better in the future.
  4. Embrace questions – it keeps everyone in the decision honest
  5. Finally, if it’s right to do right, then it’s smart to do right…  choose the “smart right”

Be intentional