Friday, January 3, 2014

How to Start 2014

Two of my key subject matters are leadership and hiring. The start of the New Year is the best time to review these strategies. Here is a recent article from The Wall Street Journal that hits the nail on the head.

The Most Important Leadership Trait You Shun

This subject matter is one that I stress in my consulting – honesty. Unfortunately, I have experienced too much where this in not a known practice, especially in a competitive work environment. Associates, managers and leaders are frequently to scared to admit, much less hire, someone with more knowledge than their own. These companies survive for some time, but eventually this culture erodes productivity. The result is loss of clients and worse loss of the business.

My experience has also proved companies who embrace this honest culture thrive, just as this article conveys.

This situation is so prevalent, I experienced it on New Year's day. A sycophant style associate sent an email blast stating the work he accomplished to all levels of the organization. His goal, I presume, was to let the world know he was in the office on the Holiday in hopes of recognition and advance his career in the long run. I'm not involved with this company, so I don't know if the culture will accommodate his goals. Experience will prove danger to the company's well being, if they do. I feel sorry for his family that did not get to enjoy New Year's day with him.

If you're in a hiring position, I hope you will admire a candidate that may not know everything and admits it. Today's job descriptions include everything from strategy to execution for one person. Weigh your preferences, by applying percentages to each trait and hire the candidate that has the experience on the higher attributes.

If you're a leader, admit your weaknesses and surround yourself with those whose augment your shortcomings.

Try this honesty practice wherever you are in the company hierarchy. Trust me, honesty is the best policy.