The whole foundation of the employee-employer relationship is based upon what I call the Bravo Sierra Factor.
Think about it. As individuals, we all have talents, skills, and experience. We also have quirks, idiosyncrasies and habits. Companies are willing to overlook, tolerate and, in some cases, even condone those quirky tendencies provided they don’t significantly outweigh the talents. When our quirks overshadow our abilities, the company will declare bravo sierra. That’s typically when performance coaching starts.
Same goes for organizations. They have unspoken rules, policies from the dark ages and eccentric traditions. Employees go along to get along. We participate even though we think it’s goofy and laugh about it with our family at home or friends at the bar. But that’s because the company pays us. They provide a benefit package and training. It’s when benefits get cut and pay is frozen that employees call bravo sierra. That’s when job hunting starts.
Everyone is willing to be tolerant – to a point. But no one can cross the bravo sierra line without consequence.
Deb Ng, author of Kommein blog, wrote a terrific post about friendships. It’s a beautiful read – you can check it out here. It made me wonder if the bravo sierra factor is true for personal relationships as well. I know I question friendships where I spend more time calling bravo sierra than just bravo. Maybe they really aren’t true friendships after all.
Whether it’s the one you have with your company or the one you have with another person – or even the one your company has with you, relationships are all about balance. People shouldn’t assume because they’re smart or charming that someone won’t call bravo sierra on them. And organizations shouldn’t assume because unemployment is high that employees won’t call bravo sierra on them.
Image courtesy of Thierry Bisch0