focus on c-suite authenticity

Culture Need A Boost? Focus On C-Suite Authenticity

In Leadership Resources by Brandt A. Handley

Authenticity has become a bit of a buzzword but when you think of standout organizations in any industry, what you remember them for is likely their authentic nature and approaches. Showing your Middle Market firm’s “true colors” and staying strong with your ideals and beliefs can lead to tremendous customer and employee loyalty, increased revenue, brand awareness and company longevity.

While it sounds simple, it isn’t always easy. A lot of times as companies grow from startup to the Middle Market, they are so focused on products and services, meeting expectations, cutting costs, gaining efficiency and just keeping the lights on, that they don’t have time to focus on what it is they want to be known for and remembered by.

What’s To Gain By Being More Authentic

When you look at something abstract like authenticity, defining what it means for your organization and focusing on implementing it into your daily processes might seem difficult or like a waste of time, but there are real benefits to gain.

  • Greater appreciation for your products, services, structure, and employees
  • An empowered, satisfied staff devoted to making your organization better
  • Open communication between all levels and teams and visible gains from it
  • Life-long customers who sing your praises and become brand ambassadors
  • Increased productivity, ingenuity and cost-saving processes
  • Becoming a top-of-mind supplier, vendor, or producer
  • Sustained growth from becoming a trusted advisor, supplier, and partner
  • Advanced visibility in the marketplace
  • How To Focus On Authenticity For Success

    Like most vitally important initiatives, authenticity must come from the top down and be pervasive at all levels. As the CEO or top leader of your organization, it starts with you.

    As a leader, you demonstrate authenticity by:

  • Asking for input and guidance
  • Admitting your shortcomings and when you don’t have the answers
  • Consulting with all employees and taking suggestions to heart
  • Listening more than speaking and making sure you ask questions and get clarification
  • Projecting confidence in your staff, empowering them to make decisions & take the lead
  • Demonstrating your appreciation through small and large gestures
  • Valuing your employees time, efforts and thoughts
  • Offering feedback and input frequently and by not avoiding difficult conversations
  • Being completely transparent in all that you do
  • Sticking to your promises and working within your company’s rules and regulations, always
  • From The Top Down

    Obviously, you will lead by example and that will make ripples in your pond. But, to be truly effective, you need to not only demonstrate your authenticity as a leader but foster an air of it at every level of your Middle Market organization.

    First, change your behavior to reflect your authenticity goals and values. Next, discuss it with your key leadership and find out how they feel about the changes you’ve made and what else they’d like to see. Direct them to take their authenticity initiatives to their leaders and teams and for it to continue to trickle down your organization.

    Regularly ask for feedback and give employees easy ways to provide the feedback. Hold your leadership to high standards and work with them when they fall short. Don’t be afraid to show that everything isn’t always perfect and let employees become part of the solution when your Middle Market firm is struggling.

    Work to cultivate authenticity for increased employee and customer loyalty, appreciation for your products and services and more open communication at all levels.

    So what’s in the Mighty Middle Market for me? — get it right now at