Monday, January 3, 2011

Truth: The Most Important Environment for Leadership to Work

On page 9 of Liquid Leadership I point out the Credo of a Liquid Leader. Most importantly, the 2nd law stands out the most for leadership to be affective

"...Leadership should cultivate an Environment Where It Is Free and Safe to Tell the Truth.
Ever work for a company that micromanages everything to death? In these environments a paper trail becomes more important than getting the work done. Our current enthusiasm for technology has created even more potential for micromanagement, via massive amounts of emails and documentation and endless meetings to sort through it all. Yet when this temptation is given in to, the result isn’t better communication or higher productivity, but the opposite. Management becomes the last to know what is actually happening.

Conversely, in companies that have moved to flatten their hierarchies and create environments where it is safer to point out the truth, you begin to notice that each person takes their role seriously. When responsibility is shifted to the individual—when people are given the freedom and power to manage their time and solve problems—the result is that no one wants to let down even a single member of their team.

An organization like this runs more smoothly and with more trust. The best and the brightest naturally gravitate toward the chance to work with one another. They know courage will be rewarded, not penalized, and innovation will see the light of day. Such environments operate like entrepreneurial start-ups, with each individual engaged in the success of the company. People are encouraged to challenge one another. They operate with confidence and a sense of personal ambition because they have skin in the game.

This approach may fly in the face of every business manual you have ever read, but those manuals are out of date. We are not in easy times. Consider that betting on one direction or a single type of technology can send a company into bankruptcy overnight. All the more reason to put aside your ego, to listen, and to encourage the sharing of knowledge in every area of an organization’s operations. Environments such as these do not centralize creativity; they make it a systemic part of what drives their entire organization.

It is your job as a leader to support the development and creation of big ideas, integrating them into your company’s mix of products..."

The truth has become fuzzy these days as people are more interested in the almighty dollar instead of doing great things. We know fluoride is not safe to put in our water and drink on a daily basis. We know our food supply is filled with carcinogenic chemicals. We know our politicians are...well you get my drift.

But when drug company whistle-blower Cheryl Eckard tried to fix problems at a GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical factory in Puerto Rico she was fired.
The 60 Minutes story is here:
Bad Medicine: The Glaxo Case  January 2, 2011 7:00 PM

Yet when Cheryl brought well documented problems to her boss, she was dismissed, told that it would be taken care of and eventually, when she pressed harder, fired. Admitting the truth can destroy entire companies and bring about unwanted changes. Yet the truth is where progress begins.

It is hard to tell the truth when doing so could bring
a wave of lawsuits

By the way, how hard is it to act like a human being?

Some believe that Cheryl Eckard did what she did for the money - (she was awarded $96 million from a $750 million suit against GSK)...really? Did she know she would be a multimillionaire when she discovered drug mix-ups and unsanitary conditions at Glaxo's plant? It was her job to oversee quality control and if she had not followed through she would have been fired. But what is unforgivable is the reaction of the executives; they simply tried to make it seem as if conditions weren't that bad.

Shame does not seem to exist in some boardrooms

Want to make changes in your organization? How about your life or your community? Start by facing the truth...not your opinion. Like maybe my wife is right – I don't look good in that sweat suit anymore, (not that that has ever happened to me. LOL).

What is important to you? Paper trails, micromanagement, telling people what to do? Truth telling is not pretty...but it is transformational.

Happy New Year.

And Thank you all once again for your interest in my work,

Brad Szollose

Leadership Lessons from a Web Pioneer.

The Art & Science of
Leading a 21st Century Workforce

Brad Szollose's (pronounced zol-us), is a globally recognized Leadership Development and Management Consultant who helps organizations dominate their industry by tapping into the treasure of a multi-generational workforce. 

He shares his management strategies within the pages of his award-winning, international bestseller Liquid Leadership...strategies that ignited his own company, K2 Design, beginning as a business idea in a coffee shop to a publicly traded company worth $26 Million in just 24 short months with an IPO on NASDAQ.

As a C-Level executive, his unique management model was awarded the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation Amongst Employees (the phrase Workforce Culture did not exist back then).

Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Advertising Age, The International Business Times, Le Journal du Dimanche and The Hindu Business Line to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.

Since the year 2010, and the release of his award-winning international bestseller, Liquid Leadership, Brad has created customized training programs for The American Management Association, Tony Robbins Business Mastery Graduates and Liquidnet Holdings, as well as several dozen Fortune 500 companies to name just a few; preparing them for the next generation of business leaders.

Mr. Szollose is also a TEDXSpeaker, and his talk The Age of Radical Disruption, focuses on the impact video games and serious gaming has had on the work habits and behavior of Generation X & Millennials.

Brad’s programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, creativity, innovation, productivity and sales growth in the new Digital Age economy.

Brad's work will expose the secrets to managing a cross-generational workforce:

Brad is the author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Cross-Generational Management Strategies That Are Changing The Way We Run Things and the publisher for Journeys to Success: The Millennial Edition: 21 Millennial Authors share their personal journeys of failure and success…based on the success principles of Napoleon Hill.