Chapter 32Entitled Out, Tough-Minded In

The Challenge

Because success can drain urgency, levels of personal and cultural entitlement tend to soar in the good times. Entitlement is a cultural infection that's very difficult to get rid of. It requires redefining expectations, strengthened accountability, consequences for failure, and a return to earn and deserve principles within the organization. The weed-out, weave-in words in this chapter are connected to a degree, because without tough-minded leadership and principles, entitlement abounds.

You Owe Me!

Being entitled is defined as believing you are owed special rewards, privileges, or treatment. The problem arises when people aren't given what they feel they have coming; they have neither earned nor deserved it. Some examples of entitlement are as follows:

  • People expect an end-of-the-year raise because it's the end of the year, not because they earned or deserve it.
  • People expect a Thanksgiving turkey every year because you gave it to them once and then listened to complaints about the brand you chose.
  • People expect a promotion because they've been there the longest, not because they're the best person for the job.
  • The company buys lunch for the team every Friday, and soon they begin to gripe about the free lunch you're giving them: “Pizza again?” “Sandwiches again?” “Why can't we ever get Swiss cheese with our burgers?”
  • A poor performer feels entitled to extra help, perks, or attention because he's struggling, not because ...

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