If you ever used ready templates in various software, you know how handy they are for the purpose. You can readily format an official invitation, your resume, or even a complain letter—what not? All you have to do is to find out the right template. Once you open your desired template, you already know how the printed output would look like.
Similarly, most of us have certain templates in our minds, that are reflected in our behavior pattern. We are molded to think and behave in a certain pre-formed ways just like some ready templates. That’s what has made us predictable. But this could be problematic when it comes to leadership at times. When leaders apply “behavioral templates”, we already know beforehand what he/she is going to say to our new advertising budget! When leadership applies behavioral templates, we already know what he/she would do to a deserving employee who already met his/her sales target. “How much sale could we gain by spending this much advertising money?”- said the leader. “Ms. Smartini, you achieved your sales target this month, nice. We will be raising your target by 20% next month as a reward for your achievement!” We knew the management would be applying these ready templates, yeaa!
The big question is, do ready templates work? If they don’t, why managers use them more often than not? Well, sometimes you cannot avoid facing these templates, i.e., the obvious reactions from leaders. But oftentimes, we become smart enough to play around and make the leader choose or make another “template”. This whole process results in nothing but lack of trust and decrease in efficiency. Templates are oftentimes counter-productive. So, what is the take-away for leaders? Here is a one-minute solution (imho): leaders must know which one is a routine situation and which one needs to be handled differently. For routine situations, apply templates. For non-routine cases, go beyond the template and create something beautiful. If you cannot differentiate between the two, then probably your brand will be at stake in the long-run.