This is the final installment in my series on the applicability of military leadership principles to organizational and business leadership.

There is nothing worse than a group of people who are kept in the dark about what is happening and why it’s happening. Contrary to mushrooms, people do not grow well in the dark. Everyone in an organization must be fully informed of the mission and vision, and the plan to achieve them. If the situation changes, they need to know what’s changed and why, at least what is relevant to them and to their responsibilities and tasks.

In the military this is known as situational awareness. When everyone knows what is happening and why, they can adjust their own analysis, plans, actions to support the organization’s objectives and achieve the mission despite the evolving situation. Often in companies and other organizations, employees, managers and sometimes even key executives don’t the full picture because the senior leadership is hoarding information.

Don’t be afraid to let the light in and to keep everyone in the loop. You have little to lose and everything to gain, as your people will then have the information and knowledge to adjust to the new situation. This can only make their contributions more relevant, timely, and powerful. That is what empowerment is all about.

© 2012 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted with full and proper attribution.

  1. Richard , I agree for what you’ve write.

    Over one month ago, we have “changing condition” in our business, government change the policy that affect our business. For us, this policy changing troublesome for us. We decide not to tell the team what happen first.

    But after we think again, ” keeping secret” from them is totally uncomfortable, won’t get us anywhere, and they will know it anyway. So we decide to tell them about this and tell the plan to handle “policy” problem.

    Good news is we know who decide working with us. Some of our employee decide to quit, but that’s good news too because they don’t meet our standard before, finally they decide to quit by their own will.

    With efficiency and effectiveness in our side, we will achieve our goal in two years.

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