Rules struggling to rule

May 15, 2017The Ripple Effect Blog

I have heard some worrying comments from young people recently including this statement – “It is only illegal if you get caught.”

As adults we could so easily blame such a comment on Millennialism or Centennials but it is us that are breaking the rules daily in front of our children.  When we do we send the very clear message that rules can be ignored whenever the authorities aren’t watching.  We probably also say, in front of children, that authorities making rules are ridiculous when they don’t have the manpower needed to enforce the rules.

Where is individual conscience driving right behaviour?

I’m not seeing too much of the intervention of conscience in the way we go about our daily lives especially on our roads and in the way people are approaching their responsibilities in the workplace.  The mechanisms to enforce rules cannot be everywhere all the time.  We can’t have speed traps on every stretch of road and cameras at every intersection. People in leadership positions cannot afford to spend every movement of every day checking up on their staff.

20 children burn to death in a taxi which is regulated to carry a maximum of 15 passengers – 6 other children from the same taxi are in hospital.

Road accident awareness has been with us for how long now and still the fancy business men in their fancy 4×4 vehicles drive at speeds well over the speed limit.  Moms in their cars with “Mom’s Taxi” or “Baby in Car” stickers drive aggressively. It is as if the sticker is a license to kill others if they dare slow them down on the way to school, netball, chess, art, ballet, rugby, debating, cricket or the child psychologist.

Mediocrity in the workplace is rife

I see people talking about trying to get things done better but things stay the same.  In some cases there is an actual deterioration but the excuses just get better and better.  By the way – how are your April results looking?

A lawless society is a society not only where people are robbed and murdered daily – it is also one where the average motorist does not stop behind the lines at traffic lights, yield to pedestrians, stop at every Stop sign and adhere to all speed limits on their own accord.  A lawless society is also one where no smoking signs are ignored and the ground is the preferred place to discard of cigarette butts.

The biggest crimes do not negate the smallest.  We should not get used to looking past so-called petty crimes when someone else is doing something worse …  “Go catch the real criminals”.

A culture of integrity

For a company to truly succeed, it needs team members that have the integrity to self-manage.  Team members that can understand what they are responsible for, and then set about delivering on these requirements.  Having integrity makes success really easy.  Such a team would not only achieve when some poor soul has to police every action, but would achieve by the minute.  Self-regulation would automatically result in self-adjustment, speaking up if help is needed, true learning from the past and a constant striving to do better.

A culture of integrity is where, at a very simple level, we do what we commit to and we commit to do. The big challenge is how to create such a culture.  Start small.  Start with you, the reader of this article.  Are you mature enough to follow the rules even when nobody is looking over your shoulder to check up on you?  Have you moved beyond that childhood level of responsibility where you were pushing boundaries by virtue of your age and stage of development?  Are you big enough to read the rule book and apply the rules?

We need big mature adults to lead the way into a brighter future.  Can you be one of them?


By Louis Gerke

Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect


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By Louis Gerke

Facilitator |  Coach | Trainer | Speaker

If this post interests you please feel free to share it: