I am used to having my bag checked and walking through security when going into public places, but when I toured Yankee Stadium they took it to a whole new level. We had bag checks and metal detectors – just to get in the gift shop on a non-game day. Our tour group of 20 was escorted not just by a tour guide, but also four security guards who accompanied us on the entire hour-long tour and monitored each corner of our group. Where we were – and were not – allowed to go was tightly enforced with the seriousness of national security rather than “just” a baseball stadium. I had to wonder what it was like there on an actual game day.

Maybe one of the reasons for such a tight watch is the passion that the Yankees engender – either for them or against. Signs throughout the stadium allude to robust behaviors of the visitors and those “damn Yankees” aren’t having any part of it. “The use of derogatory language by fans in the stadium will not be tolerated and violators will be disciplined,” read the signs. I wonder what that even means as it sounds like you will be sent to the naughty corner or have your mouth washed out with soap!

While the Yankee precautions seem to be a bit on the extreme side, in all cases of discipline it is much more effective to be proactive instead of reactive. Better to charge more for the tour and avoid any potential incidents than to have a stowaway in the press box; good to be prudent and give fair warning to the obnoxious fans rather than to remove them arbitrarily.

Where does your organization have the potential to encounter negative behavior? Whether through personnel or policy, don’t strike out in this important risk management area.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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