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Professional Openness

  • Mike Kaeding

Mike Kaeding

2 min read
Professional Openness

At the core, business is about doing a lot of little things right over time.

It’s not a satisfying answer, but that’s the truth.

Looking at the success of a business from the outside looks easy, right?

It’s as if these big businesses are overnight success stories.

No body shares the news of unexpected problems, pain points, or corporate losses - they only share the success.

Let me share one key element with you that is a relatively new learning for me but can be applied not only to businesses, but relationships.

Deep respect between you and your team comes from being deeply-open, professionally.

A few weeks ago, we had our annual leadership meeting. It’s a two-day offsite meeting where we bring in an outside facilitator. At this meeting we came head to head with each other’s issues in a deeper way than we ever had before.

It was hard.

See, as humans we all have failures. We are all embarrassed by our weaknesses, some of which we don’t recognize ourselves.

But others do.

And our staff is impacted negatively by those weaknesses. They dwell on those weaknesses which can cause discontent to grow out of hand. It’s important to talk about these things, periodically.

A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity – Dalai Lama

It’s important that they feel safe to tell you where you are making mistakes. This helps you become better and it helps them release the stress they feel.

But here is the real magic.

Initially, it’s so painful to hear about those weaknesses. With time, the feeling passes and something extraordinary happens.

You and others become comfortable about discussing those weaknesses.

People can light-heartedly joke about it. You understand that people still accept you, and even respect you more, despite those weaknesses. It becomes easier to course correct.

People can say, hey you are doing that thing again. And you can respond, oh sorry, thanks for catching me!

Once you start to get to that level, you start to build a deep bond that isn’t easily broken.

If you can build that strong of a bond with the right people, you can accomplish anything!