Last week, I outlined the principle of Alignment as it came to Branding a company. Now, I want to talk about the major reason that Alignment is so important – the People at your company.
Before I get on to the main point of the topic, I want to remind you that the People involved include not just your employees but the people you surround yourself with. This includes advisors, vendors, and customers. As I go through this blog post, I want you to think about all of these folks.
When I talked about Alignment, I was working to make sure that you understood that everything that you do is related to everything else. The front line of that element of Branding is the people that work for you. As I have stated in the past, it is the full view of your actions by your customers that makes your Brand. Many of these actions are performed by your employees.
Think about the last time you had bad service at a Restaurant. It can spoil an excellent meal that takes place in wonderful atmosphere. I think that this should give you all you need to know. One bad waiter or waitress can cause many customers never to return.
As a Leader, you have three obligations. First and foremost, is to hire well. This is not a skill that is taught often today. I think the last time I went to a hiring and interviewing class was the late-80s. I know that we under-train our leaders as the advance in their careers, but this one seems odd to me. We all know that People are very important. But we spend no time and money helping people to understand how to locate them.
The second obligation of a Leader is to tell people how you want them to how to make decisions. The whole point of Leadership is to set direction. Every day your employees make decisions. As a Leader, you can not direct each decision. Your job is to tell your employees how you would make the decision if you were doing it. What factors you would weigh. What is important and what is not.
The third obligation of a Leader is to hold people accountable. Once you have told people how you want them to make decisions, you need to hold them accountable for those decisions. That means that they get rewarded when they do things right. It also means that they are corrected when they do things wrong. If you don’t correct problems they fester and impact other people.
All of this is to help people understand what they need to do to support your Brand. Their actions will be what people know about your business. It is important that you and your people need to be in Alignment with your Brand.
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