“Go ahead and share it”
A couple weeks ago I toured a brick plant to learn how bricks were made, the process for improvement, and a bit more about the industry. I was overwhelmed by the warm reception, not only the radiant heat of the kiln, but also the open nature of those working at the company. Within ten minutes of my visit the plant manager presented to me the variety of products and unique bricks that they produced. The distinctive bricks made for a special project were different than anything I had seen, I asked if I could take a picture. I understand that in some industries the product is proprietary. He responded “go ahead, we share all the time, our work is unique to the clay and building architect”.
Really, they were just willing to share?
After the visit I realized that this confidence comes with over 40 years of expertise in a field and knowing the value of giving it away. These leaders didn’t drop into brick making yesterday, they had been doing it for years, and they knew that their experience impacted their product and their worth. The confidence from everyone I met on that day, radiated with the heat of the kiln, and helped me believe in their product and process.
As I reflected on my work and my belief that transparency is key to building a strong team and organization, it became evident that confidence in my team is reflected through my willingness to share. When I begin a process, I try to outline who will be consulted, what groups and then ask for help to widen the circle. It takes time to be this transparent. I have found that when I take the time to open myself and the process to full engagement, the outcome is better. It is better vetted and more likely to be adopted. This is not a fast process, it is painstakingly slow, frustrating as hell, and ….. honestly, better. To ensure that I stay true to my core value of transparency, I just added a PS to my email messages (see below), and I LOVE the feedback.
Keep me on task friends. Be confident enough to risk transparency.
Grateful for each of you,
PS: Please forward this email to those I may have inadvertently missed. Anyone who needs this information is welcome to being in the loop. Let me know who I missed so I can add them to future correspondence. Radical transparency is a fundamental practice I choose to follow.