In the world of growth and progress, business transparency is king. By this, we invoke two aspects: being transparent in your market so that your clientele knows what you’re offering; and being transparent internally so that your teammates know what their present-day and future moves look like.
External Transparency: Larry Alton wrote in an article for Entrepreneur that “Transparency in business requires entrepreneurs to remain open and informative about key points of information, including their business’s goals, history, performance and operations.” Therefore (if I may), your fan club has to know what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you’re going to do…and how that’ll be accomplished. In 2017 when Uber encountered some controversy as a result of their handling of alleged sexual assault, and the results were kept rather secretive, their rival Lyft capitalized on Uber’s silence with a campaign slogan, “It matters how you get there.” In other words, Choose us: we treat our employees and our customers like gold.
Internal Transparency: in the military we officers often had meeting behind closed doors to discuss position swaps within our ranks. Sergeant Smith would move to the maintenance squadron in exchange for Airmen Jones and Johnson to logistics & readiness…but, as the saying would often go, “This doesn’t leave this room until the decision is final.” I always cringed when I heard that from a higher-ranking officer…what’s the big secret? Instead of being transparent, we’d surprise three employees with moves that will change their day-to-day lives for the foreseeable future, as if to say, “Your comprehensive well-being comes second to my professional convenience.” Why not be transparent and let them know what might be on the horizon, so that they might prepare their families for potential changes to their work- and professional lives?
These simple examples should suggest one thing: secrets don’t breed success. For a successful company, secrets should be created only to ensure the wellness of employees–not for the professional convenience of leadership.
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