Thursday, January 5, 2006

Leadership and the extent of communication

There seems to be some magic in communicating well as a leader. You can do everything right in a leadership position, but some of your tougher moves tend to come off looking bad to those you are leading. This article at Fast Company tells the story of a pilot who communicated well with his disgruntled passengers.

Yesterday, my company had a meeting when the Vice President came to our branch office and told us how the company was doing. There was one disgruntled person who boldly spoke up about how disgruntled people were that we had our company health plans changed in the middle of the year on short notice. The leadership at this company meant well, but people felt exploited and betrayed because they didn't know what was going on.

The lesson here is to involve people at the lower level when decisions are made higher up. Show them the intermediate steps in your thought process, especially when you make difficult moves.