Friday, July 27th, 2012
Assume you speak into a public address system
every time you label something as CONFIDENTIAL.
People care inordinately about what you have to say – from irritation with coffee in the cafeteria to the next merger upcoming. You give out cues all the time. Look outside the company for friendship and a place to spill your guts. You are MAGNIFIED.
Be aware of the fact that you have a virtual GRO-LITE on the top of your head EVERY MINUTE OF EVERYDAY. Where you turn your head things start to grow – attention starts to be paid. A CEO who noticed an ice spot at the entrance and mentioned it only to have an expensive heated floor installed the next day. Or the Retail ops exec who obsessed about bananas on the shelf and there were thousands of dollars o shrink in bananas that no-one cold figure out – until this exec left. When you ask a question tell why. If not, you will have people talking about the rationale and making up delicious stories not knowing just how boring you can be.
During times when you are considering acquisitions or restructures or other highly confidential strategic directives YOU DISAPPEAR. YOU LEAVE A VACUUM THAT IS LIKE A NEON ANNOUNCEMENT THAT SOMETHING BIG AND SCAREY IS GOING ON. Even when you are present you are not present. Your preoccupation is evident. You look sheepish and asleep at the wheel. People gossip about you and wonder where you are and why you aren’t doing your job. And it’s hard to interact when you are carrying big secrets. It is your job to go toward the organization when there is a major transition going on. This is when WHO you are matters more than what you have to say. Be physically present in as many places as possible. CEO sitings matter more than substantial interaction. Your presence is soothing and grounding. Much more than you will ever know. This degree of truth about this should be incredible humbling. At hese moments you are the papa or mama bear of the organization. Like it or not.