A business owner shared his survival story from the latest downturn. When I asked him “What is different about your business now versus three years ago?” his answer made me step back. He said “Now, my business comes before my people.” He went on to explain when he hires he tells people up front that he is doing everything he can to keep them busy, but if the business drops off he will have to send them home. He also makes it clear that his best people, regardless of tenure, will be kept on as long as he can.
He learned the law of transparency, which is Be open and honest about things you want to face with someone if you expect/need them to help.
Here are three ways to apply this law:
- Performance discussion – If this does not feel like a conversation the law is not being applied.
- Making a sacrifice to manage through a negative event – If people have to sacrifice then they need to know what is happening.
- Recruiting – What is broken that this role needs to be fixed? Say it and ask for the help before you offer the job.
Transparency can be taught, but it first has to be valued.
Leaders who use it effectively are rewarded with trust and respect.