I've written before about the importance of clarity on the part of managers. Most of that was directed at mid-level managers who are often tasked with leading individual contributors.
This post is directed at those who are steering at the senior level. It may be an obvious, but candor and clarity is important. Consider the following:
- Every organization should be willing to be clear and candid about the direction of the enterprise. If you are a publicly-held group, then you may have some disclosure issues to navigate. That said, legal limitations on what can and cannot be disclosed should not be an excuse for a lack of candor and clarity.
- Every organization should let their employees know what the value system is based on, even if it means the employee is not at the top of the list. Avoiding this discussion/communication could be fatal. So many employers and employees operate under assumptions. Assumptions that go out the window when the storms come.
- Every organization should be clear about how the organization makes money. This places a shared accountability and education.
- Every organization must understand the life-cycle of and employee and give those employees the room to move on. So many organizations live in fear of employees leaving. Turn-over (internally or externally) due to terrible managers is bad (really bad), turn-over due to an employee completing the mission and moving onto a new dream is a great thing. By the way, the latter example might make your company a highly desired place to work.
- Every organization should be able to communicate when the end is near. I know it sounds morbid, but don't tell an intelligent adult things are good when collapse is not far off. By giving them the tough reality upfront you give an opening to prepare. Every good employee deserves this kind of candor and clarity.
If you work for an organization that finds candor and clarity nearly impossible, I would consider moving on because a lack of candor and clarity is usually a sign of decline. The irreversible type of decline.