Leadership is about telling the truth

One of the challenges of running a business is to be clear about what you’re doing to anyone you meet.

Sometimes its hard to come up with a concise answer – because you have to get so much stuff to balance and there are always new opportunities coming along. Be too opportunistic and your brand starts to lose focus. It’s amazing how easily people get confused.

All our research tells us that in a networking situation, people respond to, advocate and transmit information about people who

  • They Like
  • Are absolutely clear about what they do

The same is true in the workplace – if your team are in no doubt about the company’s purpose and it is something that they relate to then they will feel energised and the creativity that you need them to have to solve the problems of the daily grind will be released.

I’ve just finished writing a white paper for the Growing Jobs project which is concerned with how to build a sustainable workforce for the horticultural industry.

In it there’s a description of so-called high performance workforce practices. There are 3 bundles of these that are to do with

  • HR practice
  • Rewards
  • Involvement

The involvement strand practices are all about getting people involved in the business by making it clear what we’re about, what they have to do and where the edges of the envelope are within which they have to operate.

They include

  • Creating cross functional and self managing teams
  • Formalised continuous improvement
  • Making business plan and KPI targets  and actual performance available to all staff

Most business people are naturally fairly economical with the truth where their staff are concerned. However you only get real performance if people trust you – and you have to earn that with a large amount of paying forward about where you’re going and what needs to be overcome.

Authenticity – in both marketing and leadership is your friend.

Staff association

Internal staff surveys

Self managed work teams

Cross-function teams

Circulating information on organisational performance and strategy

Providing everyone with business plan and targets

Staff suggestion schemes

Quality circles / TQM

Kaizen – formalised continuous improvement

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