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Last week, Financial Times editor Andrew Hill wrote a column about D-DayD-Day is the day the Allied invasion of Normandy began during World War II which happened in Normandy, France, exactly 75 years ago on June 6.
Hill links the decision, which went unexplained to the soldiers themselves, to postpone the Allied landings by 24 hours (because of bad weather) to poorly communicated demands at work:
“In the workplace, the dangers are rarely life-threatening. Yet the stress caused by ill-explained strategic decisions are no less real for being hidden behind a suit rather than army fatigues. Too often, senior executives expect managers to drive staff towards impossible targets. (…)”
Leadership is about many things, but the most critical requirement is arguably clear and consistent communication. In his FT article, Hill observes:
“It is not enough (…) for managers to assume their bosses will somehow intuit what is wrong. They must communicate constantly. It helps if team leaders manage up in good times, as well as bad.
Middle managers are the vital connecting tissue in organisations. They convey and build trust between the business leaders and the other ranks.”
Hill quotes several speakers at the recent Financial Times 125 Women Forum, emphasizing this key aspect of proper (team) management. One of them, Margaret Heffernan, has written several books about how traditional companies make decisions – often spectacularly bad ones – and how female entrepreneurs can effectively avoid them.
In her books, which are based on her personal experiences leading organizations, Heffernan describes themes such as effective problem-solving, building social capital among employees and how “willful blindness” (also the title of a book she published in 2011) often makes leaders deliberately prefer ignorance over knowledge and data.
At Business Basecamp, we understand that authentic leadership, effective communication and knowledge-based decisions are critical for successful entrepreneurship and for optimal business performances. Therefore, we connect with certified and highly experienced independent practitioners and business partners all over the world. Our focused teams bring expertise and real value to the journeys that we create based on your particular challenges and aspirations.
If you want to know more about authentic leadership, we highly recommend attending the upcoming webinar organized by LeadershipLAB REGISTER NOW