Does Your CEO Have Credibility?

Just because you're right it doesn't mean that people will follow you.

If I could get one message across to every CEO or CIO in this country, that would be it.

Employees follow a boss who has earned credibility by doing things the right way, looking out for the best interests of the company and the employees, and always keeping an eye on the horizon for what's coming next.  If you are constantly wondering "Why is no one following me?" then you must be doing something wrong.

My focus at Tydak Consulting is on information technology. Question: How many employees roll their eyes when an announcement is made about upgrades and improvements to technology. Answer: Count the number of employees and multiply by two. Staff rarely believes that an upgrade is an improvement. They usually believe it means more work for them.

And it does. But they need to do it so the company keeps pace with the technology changes. And they will make the changes if the CEO or CIO has credibility.

Let's take the recent case where employees did not have the back of the CEO and how that hurt business.

At the XYZ Co. an email, purportedly from the CEO, was sent to employees asking for payroll records. This was clearly out of line and a violation of company policy. But many employees just blindly followed the request, broke company policy and sent the payroll records.

How does that happen?

When a CEO or CIO is seen only as someone who gives orders and retreats to his/her office, the leader has not established trust in the organization. People can be expected to comply. Or else.

Let's consider an alternative where the CEO is seen as a good leader with the best interests of all at heart. That same phishing expedition would likely be met with a great big, "Huh? Jennifer would never ask us to do something like that."

When the CEO or CIO has credibility, all changes – even technology changes – are much easier to implement. Let's get serious. Most system upgrades are not going to change your life. Windows 10 won't make you better-looking or live longer and healthier.

But there are necessary technology changes in businesses. A seamless roll-out can make a difference.

If your staff is resisting (passively or aggressively) then take a look in the mirror.

October 7, 2016 | Pat Bramhall