As the CEO and leader of the Executive Team at Service Express, candor is gold for me. One expectation I have of the Executive Leadership Team is that they’re upfront about their opinions. When we’re talking about strategies or decisions, I want to know their unvarnished feedback. In return, I promise to give them mine. Being upfront and transparent doesn’t mean we have to agree. I will tell you what I think, but what you do with that information is up to you. We can debate if we disagree, that’s healthy and how good decisions are made. My teams know that I will tell them exactly what I think and where I stand on any issue. I ask the same in return for myself.
Another expectation I have is for meetings is that if you have something to say, you say it in the meeting while we’re talking about the topic. What’s not allowed is things like, “I didn’t want to say it in the meeting, but…” or “I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I disagree.” I do not like that at all. We have a functional Executive Team that depends on true, candor opinions. No one person can make all the right decisions; you need to collaborate and discuss with a team of truth-tellers. Candor is gold. In my eyes, it raises you up as a leader and member of my team. Vice versa, if you don’t offer your opinion or I find out that you’re holding back your opinion, that’s disappointing to me.
Take that with you as you work with your teams; you must speak your mind! There’s certainly a way to deliver honesty, and it’s not always comfortable for the receiver. However, the worst thing you can do is sit back with an opinion without saying anything. My last expectation that you shouldn’t ever do is say, “I told you so”. If we make a decision and it doesn’t go according to plan, I can’t have someone tell me, “I didn’t think that’d work, but I didn’t want to say anything.” A functioning organization can’t have that during the decision-making process.
Make sure to surround yourself with people who will provide that real candor. Those are the people that care about you and the decisions being made!