Do You Work For A Communicative Leader? Is No News Worse Than Bad News?

February 18, 2009 at 11:02 pm 1 comment

By Carol Metzner
Co-Founder A/E/P Central, LLC, home of &
President, The Metzner Group, LLC

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” –Peter F. Drucker

According to Drucker, “Managers are concerned with immediate results. Leaders are concerned with long-term results.”  To succeed, companies need both of these people.  That being said, companies need leaders who can and will communicate.  

Do you work for a communicative leader? To survive the next few years company leaders need to be visionary, strategic thinkers. They need to take information from a variety of sources, set direction and communicate that to staff.

Conducting searches in the civil engineering marketplace, I hear from many of you that confidence in your current company leadership is falling.  Much of that drop can be attributed to lack of communication. No communication is deadlier than bad news.  With company teleconferencing, intranets and email blasts there is no good explanation for silence from the top.  If you are at the top, why aren’t you talking to your employees?  Many staff are walking on egg shells.  Are they next to be laid off?  Do you have a plan? If not, are you working on one? 

Many qualities of the best civil engineering firms are those where the leaders:

  • Stress the importance of communication and communicate openly and honestly;
  • Practice an open door policy;
  • Encourage employee input in strategic planning;
  • Encourage employee feedback;
  • Practice an open book management style, sharing financial performance with employees (the good and the bad);
  • Clearly communicates goals and direction.

There are other characteristics of successful firms for sure, but if these few qualities are put into practice then employee fears would be somewhat lessened and productivity may likely rise.  What do you think? 

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Entry filed under: Civil Engineering Companies, Employee Retention, Human Resources, The Workplace. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John Bittner  |  February 24, 2009 at 4:21 am

    This is true, but I see a lot of ignorance from middle management on the subject. I think senior leadership looks for results – and unfortunately results are short term – unless specifically put in context of a long term result. Too often it is cash flow now wins.


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