At work or play best leaders nurture connection

It is Saturday mail call time and I am ecstatic to relate I have received a few emails on yesterday’s flatulence column.

Actually, to tell the truth, I haven’t.

But I have received some comments.

I believe the gist of the sentiment received and to come on flatulence, is that it is something people can rally around no matter their political affiliation—it is not polarizing, like say, Tim Tebow, and is something we all share in common.

Something I thought of personally is that we will probably never see a CEO of a Fortune 500 company blog about flatulence.

Why is this sad to me?

Perhaps it is because CEOs and the corporate hierarchy they reign over are no longer really the ideal when it comes to a successful business organization’s infrastructure.

Other than maybe the worship that Apple fanboys had for Steve Jobs, I don’t know that any CEO of these big companies has a feeling of connection on a personal level with their employees.

The rare meets and greets these folks go on are scripted, tepid, limited in scope and employees largely feel very much distanced from anything CEOs do in the day-to-day running of the business. I guess we should be happy with the occasional clammy handshake every three of four years as consolation for not really ever having the ear or eye of the company’s leadership. But I am not content with any of this. It bothers me and it should you, too.

I understand the working ranks cannot be in on every single agenda being discussed or considered by a company’s executive team. I understand the necessity for discretion at times.

I also realize a lot of CEOs leave matters of connection with employees to their subordinates.

This would be the CEO sad item number two for me.

This one, however, could easily be remedied.

Most CEOs “speak” to their rank and file via company intranets and internal web pages.

The schedule of these missives is many times infrequent and sporadic.

I’ve always felt the people actually performing work and manufacturing goods and services are the ones bringing the most value to a company and by virtue of these actions are, in effect, running the company, not the CEO or their executive team.

The frequency and quality of communication by CEOs to their company’s employees needs to step up and tap into this perspective accordingly.

It is a golden opportunity to reestablish a connection—to make your employees feel closer to you, that you are sharing with them and by doing so, making your message personal.

Flatulence is often personal. But sometimes it can be public knowledge.

The subject matter of CEO communication is oftentimes personal to their executive teams. But sometimes it should be common knowledge with company employees. The calls they make on things they think should be kept secret are often not the right ones and jeopardize the transparency leadership teams should always strive to maintain. You will lose good employees who understand that like flatulence, information that is regularly free-flowing and not bottled up is the most conducive to good company health and employee morale.

I was not trying to draw parallels between CEOs and flatulence when I began this. Now that I have gotten this far though, I can see where it is not a failed comparison altogether.

CEOs tend to be a bit stodgy and only share so much. That is a pity. They make so much compared to their lowest salaried employees. You would think all the money CEOs have would end result in some fun for them and their employees.

Sadly, they will probably never blog about flatulence.

But would it not be inspiring, cool and great fun if they did?

I don’t know about you, but I’d go to the corner, I mean, the wall, for someone like that.



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