If a company is more concerned with its immediate bottom line than it is with the customer’s best interests, that is a short-term decision, and a poor one. That company is maximizing a short-term profit in exchange for a long-term loss. When that company stops looking out for its customers, it might maximize its profits that month, that quarter, or maybe even that year—but there are going to be long-term problems down the line…and if the company ignores those problems for long enough, its survival will eventually be at stake!
I run into a lot of leaders who mislead themselves—without realizing that’s what’s happening. Here’s how they do it. They say things like “My people aren’t creative—we need to get a creativity expert in here to talk to them.” Or: “My people aren’t great problem-solvers—they need to get better at problem-solving. Go find me a program that will help them improve their problem-solving.”
For a leader, there is no such thing as “kind of” telling the truth.
If you are a leader, you are either fulfilling your personal commitment to tell someone who is counting on you the truth or you aren’t fulfilling that commitment. If you aren’t, then accountability within the relationship and the organization you lead is impossible, because you’ve already failed to be accountable to your team coming out of the gate.
If you want to attract and hold on to the best people, redefine accountability in your organization.
I work with a lot of senior leaders of organizations. One of the major challenges these leaders frequently share with me is their difficulty in hiring and holding on to good people. They want talented people, and they don’t want those talented people going to the competition once they have been hired and trained! So they’ll ask me, “Sam, what’s the best way for me to win and hold on to the talented people that will keep our organization competitive?”