Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Is It Safe to Tell The Truth in Your Office?

The Most Important Element for Leadership to Be Taken Seriously

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...

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.

Image courtesy of

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This approach may fly in the face of every business manual you have ever read, but those manuals are out of date.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.

And as always, a special thank you to everyone who reads my blog. THANK YOU for your support my friends,

Brad Szollose 
Bridging The Generational Divide: Multigenerational management expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

PS: If you are interested in one of our white papers entitled... 

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What Every Business Needs
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Understanding How Technology Transforms Corporate Culture, Generational Behavior, and Impacts Management, Interaction and Expectations 

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Ask me how I can help your company evolve into the 21st Century.

Brad Szollose is the foremost expert on Cross-Generational Issues and Workforce Culture, management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture, behavior, management interaction, expectations and sales in The Digital Age.

But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.

Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analog driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.