Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Contagious Leadership is important when the money runs out

What does a Contagious Leader do when the money runs out in the business? Last night on the news, we heard of one company that owns the chain Bennigan's and Steak and Ale (or at least a number of them in the nation) closing almost all of the existing locations of these popular restaurants. For a moment I was a bit sad, as I can still remember when Steak and Ale opened in the city I grew up in, Waco,Tx. It was a big deal and where you went when you wanted to go someplace "fancy".

Then I thought of how I would have responded to employees who asked "Are our jobs secure?" How would a Contagious Leader respond? Truth is, I've been there both as a middle manager and an executive, being asked that very question. Sometimes in a corporation of that size, you as a middle manager know what is going on and at other times you are just as much in the dark as the employees. The key is to be as honest as you can and even if you have to day "You know, I am not sure if your job is secure. I think it is, but something tells me it might not be. So if you need to make plans or need my help, let's talk. If not, let's see if we can get through this together."

Contagious Leaders work with employees and treat them as people. People deserve the truth and they deserve the utmost of your respect, as well as you deserve it from them. Thus when the money runs out, tell 'em how it is and tell 'em what you can. That does mean you simply say "All is well and things are good." particularly when you know they are not. Shooting straight will serve you much better.

Stay Contagious,

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