One of the most important thing any business leader can do is cultivate a culture in which the person who will take the baton and assume leadership of the company when the leader retires or steps away becomes obvious and evident well before the succession plan is officially enacted.
In some ways, people outside the company should never notice when your company hands the reins off to the next leader because the culture that’s ingrained in the company should continue unabated no matter who has the big corner office with the fancy name plate in the middle of the desk.
If your company culture is strong enough, it will permeate everything you do as a business and every employee will know what they should do before they do it.
Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it becomes imperative when you’re a leader, says Doug Meyer-Cuno, the author of “The Recipe For Empowered Leadership: 25 Ingredients For Creating Value & Empowering Others.”
“The phrase ‘doing the right thing’ can have different interpretations depending on the situation and whom you ask. Generally speaking, though, we know that it means doing what’s decent. Honesty, fairness, integrity—all of these traits constitute ‘the right thing’ here,” says Meyer-Cuno.
“Maintaining your character when no one is watching is the right thing to do. So is sacrificing short-term profits and avoiding conflict in favor of alignment. Having a willingness to terminate leaders or profitable employees who are great at what they do but who are unwilling to stay true to the core culture values and vision of the company is also ‘the right thing.’”
Many business leaders are faced with the tough decision of choosing loyalty to a longtime employee who might even be a lifelong friend or even a relative or choosing to continue steering the company in the right direction for all involved.
If you make the wrong decision, even once, it can compromise the company culture you’ve worked so hard to cultivate since you first started the company or took the helm yourself.
And your employees will see that your loyalty is in the wrong place and might choose to work for someone whose vision more closely aligns to what they thought yours was.
Even in a time when job openings are rare and moves are scarce, there are enough opportunities out there if you look for them.
This article originally appeared on our sister publication Commercial Integrator‘s website.