Work Traits

Compliance and Responsiveness

Compliance and responsiveness are all about following accepted codes of conduct and adhering to existing values.
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What does compliance and responsiveness mean?

Compliance and responsiveness means you’re likely to appreciate creating and leading organizational values, standards and rules. You’ll find meaning and satisfaction from being a good role model and inspiring others to follow them as well. 

Creating company-wide policies and operating procedures appeals to you, and in the absence of these you’ll likely feel uneasy or directionless. 

Fulfilling commitments and obligations are also important to you, as you’ve got a strong sense of honour and responsibility and like delivering on your promises and expectations.

We call it: Compliance

Your motivation levels for following the rules, values and customs of the company.

The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it's a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers -- of persistence, concentration, and insight -- to do work you love and work that matters.

Susan Cain

Leaders known for compliance and responsiveness

David Goggins

David Goggins

David Goggins is an American ultramarathon runner, fitness record-holder, motivational speaker and author. After surviving an abusive childhood, he trained in the Air Force and as a Navy SEAL, serving a tour of duty in Iraq.

His stories of incredibly harsh training regimes and selection processes for the very highest branches of the military show a man able to survive and thrive under the harshest of rules. 

Since leaving the military, Goggins has set his own visionary rules, driving himself to compete in 100-mile ultramarathons and achieve world records in running and pull-ups - leading some to refer to him as the ‘Fittest Man in America.'

Michele Tafoya

Michele Tafoya is an American sports television presenter, having broadcast over 200 NFL games to football fans across the country via her spot on NBC Sports. She works in a world full of rules and established strategies - both on the field and off. 

Tafoya is a proponent of Stoic philosophy, which espouses the following of virtue and values through discipline and emotional regulation. In a high-testosterone, male-dominated environment, she demonstrates strength and expertise within the bounds of the profession.

This, in its own way, provides a sense of freedom: while playing by the rules, she’s able to pave her own way to success, and is highly admired for it.

Michele Tafoya
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Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, firstly from 1940-1945 and again from 1951-1955. He’s one of the most significant figures of the 20th century, and is known as the wartime leader that led the country and its allies to victory through the Second World War.

Many of Churchill’s views wouldn’t be welcomed in today’s society, but at the time his adherence to values and principles was strong and underpinned all of his decision-making. 

His responsiveness during the war has been historically admired, despite some missteps, and while he led many reform efforts it was his conservative, value-based principles that cemented his legacy.

The benefits of compliance and responsiveness

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Team Player

Due to your propensity to ‘fall in line’, you’ll do well in cooperation and teamwork, as you’re unlikely to go your own way, maverick-style.

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Others can rely on you to get things done properly with respect for existing methods and paradigms.

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Your motivation for complying with rules means you’re unlikely to let mistakes or low quality work slip through your net.

The blind spots of compliance and responsiveness

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Status Quo

Despite being great at your work, it might not be too visible to others if you’re known for being a ’stickler for the rules’.

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Miss opportunities

You’ll be hesitant to seize new opportunities if they haven’t been fully vetted for risk, which means you might miss out on chances to impress.

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Compliance doesn’t always correlate with creativity, which often involves rule-breaking and thinking out of the box.

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How to be more compliant and responsive

1) Ask how things are done.

When confronted with a challenge or plan, rather than jumping straight in with actionable tasks, step back for a moment and ask questions about the bigger picture. 

“What do people we admire do in this sort of situation?” and “What are the values or standards driving these decisions?” are questions you might ask to get a better picture of the underlying principles of action. 

Soon enough, you should begin not only to make better decisions on behalf of your organization, but also be able to explain the reasoning behind your decisions, too.

2) Consider why rules are in place.

Most rules and regulations aren’t implemented for fun - there’s almost always a story behind them. They’ve got a reason for existing. So if you don’t like following a particular method or rule, take a moment to think about why it exists.

Maybe it’s because something bad happened in the past to warrant it. Maybe it’s a risk-aversion measure that protects people, their ideas or their jobs. 

You might find your respect for the status quo increases a little once you dig into the ‘why’ rather than just thinking about how you can change things.

3) Learn from those who follow.

Most organizations have at least one quiet superhero - a reliable, consistent worker that follows the rules. They’re the indispensable ones who keep things running smoothly, and while sometimes looked over, they’re crucial for keeping order and allowing the bigger personalities to exercise their creativity.

Think about what they do to make your organization tick. Ask them how they keep so well-organised and what it is about their mindset that keeps them so consistent. Even if their work isn’t directly related to yours, you might learn some valuable tips and tricks that help you up your game immensely.

4) Familiarize yourself with policy.

Sometimes, breaking the rules happens when you don’t know what you’re doing. This excuse rarely holds up in a court of law, but in your business life it’s easy to let the odd infraction slide. 

To prevent this from happening, give yourself the chance to research how things really should be done. For safety policies, of course, you need to pay full attention at all times, but this is more for things like cultural guides and codes of conduct - the things we’re occasionally tempted to skip over. 

Taking a few minutes to read over the most important documents might save you some serious headaches in the long run.

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