Over the weekend, I watched HBO’s The Gathering Storm and Into the Storm, the story of Winston Churchill’s climb, tenure, and eventual departure as Prime Minister of the British Empire.
In one scene, Winston is meeting with Franklin D Roosevelt shortly after America has entered the war after the surprise attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.
The leaders are discussing faith, the importance of it and whether God even exists. Churchill states to Roosevelt, “I’m not sure whether it’s important to believe or not. I am certain people must have hope!”
CLARITY AND PURPOSE
There are a lot of books written on leadership, how to be great, achieve higher performance, and get people engaged.
It would be hard to argue with Winston Churchill being one of history’s the greatest leaders. He led Britain to overcome insurmountable odds to overwhelming success.
Winston Churchill gave the people of Great Britain hope when all hope was lost. England stood alone against the fascist regimes who had just conquered most of Europe and who quickly devoured most of Communist Russia.
On June 4th 1940, when Great Britain was in its darkest hour, Churchill delivered an inspiring speech, ending with these words, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Could Churchill have been much clearer? Could he have been any less purposeful?
TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY
Many businesses are afraid of share financial information with employees. It’s reasonable to be fearful of this. What if the employees really see how much money we make?
Employees already believe you are filling your pockets with too much, and they are not being compensated as fairly as they deserve to be.
Truth is they have no idea the risks involved, the responsibility and accountability each owner and stake holder has in your business.
That’s why revealing your financial information must be coupled with financial literacy training.
When employees understand, suddenly confidence escalates, trust increases, belief grows and most importantly, the one critical element for any business to make miracles occurs, emotional investment surges. There is no longer a reason to fear or mistrust management and leadership. Financial clarity breaks down barriers.
Belief is one element, it’s objective, it’s about clarity, where you and the company are going. Yet without Hope, without this incredible emotion, your business will never achieve its full potential.
Who of you doesn’t believe that an educated and informed employee isn’t a more engaged and superior performing employee?
You don’t believe, as do the Republicans and Democrats, an informed voter is detrimental to their cause, and hurts their self-interests?
Transparency’s value comes from the walls tumbling down surrounding doubt, motivation, and the self-interests of the people leading the organization. When transparency truly occurs in any organization, it is not dissimilar to the Berlin wall being demolished. Suddenly the Why, your business’ purpose, is crystal clear!
Some business owners fall into a trap. They believe if you can’t touch it, or see it, it’s not important. There like “old man” Potter in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Go to 1:48 of the video to discover the important ingredient George Bailey is referring to.
Transparency means belief, trust, engagement, and purpose elevate. Lines of communication are opened. People feel they can speak to the issues and challenges that every organization has because nothing is concealed. There are no longer any hidden agendas. When your company’s financial records are open to scrutiny, no one can hide behind any political or protected positions. Performance isn’t just required, it’s subject to complete analysis and inspection.
Who of you as a leader doesn’t believe this is a good thing?
I truly don’t believe anyone reading this blog, who leads a team or business, believes full transparency isn’t a truth for spectacular growth for business. Who gains when financial information is concealed or protected in your organization?
It’s my belief, “Truth always reveals itself.” It may take time, years, decades perhaps, yet when the truth surfaces, the consequences are much more harmful than truth is.
Example: ENRON – At the height of Enron’s rise, Arthur Anderson received $1M a week. 29,000 people lost their jobs at Arthur Anderson when the Enron scandal was revealed. This number doesn't include Enron employees! .
Would your business performance improve if every employee from the front line to the executive team began to think and act like an entrepreneur?
This is exactly what occurred in my customer’s business. They started the Great Game of Business in 2012. Each of the next succeeding years this business achieved record growth and profit. The team was rewarded in direct proportion to their contribution. The team made the decision not to add additional staff, because they believed they could achieve and complete the work required to achieve their objectives. They knew they would be appropriately rewarded. It wasn’t until 2016 they recognized the need to hire an additional team member to help them achieve their 2017 priority. Want more convincing? Review the Great Game of Business Testimonials.
Belief, faith, knowledge only turns into extraordinary when in it connects to a deep emotion. Hope, joy, love, gratitude are emotions that drive performance and results!
The front end of this two-step process requires Strategic Discipline. A focus on Priority, Metrics, and Meetings. For help achieving Strategic Discipline, discovering your Core Purpose and help with the Great Game, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT BLOG – LABOR EFFICIENCY RATIO.
PEOPLE, STRATEGY, EXECUTION, AND CASH. Your business needs these Four Decisions right or risk leaving significant revenue, profit, and time on the table. We have several tools to help you improve CASH in your business.
How do you balance employee productivity with burnout? Next blog we explore Labor Efficiency Ratio to learn how.