Be Prepared to Explain Your Decisions

Almost nothing frustrates employees and suppliers more than being kept in the dark. If you want to be a respected business leader, be prepared and willing to explain why you decided to do what you did.

You just promoted a thirty-year-old employee with five years of experience to be a vice-president and did not promote a forty-year-old employee with fifteen years experience. If the older employee asks why you did that, you better be prepared and willing to explain your answer. Otherwise you will lose respect throughout the organization. It is not enough to say, “It’s none of your business. Just deal with it.” Be honest and clear. Better yet, explain your rationale before you are asked to explain it.

If you’re discontinuing a long-term product or dramatically changing the pricing structure of your services, then be ready to explain why you are doing it. Of course, people are not going to always agree with your decision, but they can live with it. What is vastly more difficult to live with is a business leader who stops communicating. The answer, “Just trust me” is usually not good enough. If they didn’t trust you, the employees would have quit. They are looking to understand why a certain decision was made.

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