Last week at a staff meeting, several team members called me out for being blatantly wrong about a major decision (my expansion plans were not practicable). Calling me out is common and encouraged at JVM, and it is another reason why we perform so well.
I thought of this when I read a recent WSJ article about United Airlines’ Rules Based Culture.
Everyone at United blindly followed rules, resulting in the huge public relations disaster of a passenger getting violently dragged off the plane.
The other issue, no doubt, was the fact that the employees were afraid to tell management they disagreed with bad policy.
At JVM, we tout our systems, rules and tutorials often as our “secret sauce” but our other necessary sauce is employee-autonomy. Everyone is free to use their judgement and to call out management any time they see fit; we encourage it even.
This requirement doesn’t just apply to companies, it applies to anyone with assistants or employees of any type. Managers need to check their egos and welcome input from everyone. Most don’t and suffer as a result.
United Airlines is a perfect example, but I have known many Realtors and loan officers over the years who have also ruled over their teams with iron fists. They all suffered as a result.
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