Leading into 2010?

By On Leadership
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Barry Salzberg is chief executive of Deloitte. He is also a member of Deloitte's U.S. board of directors, the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu global executive committee and the DTT global board of directors.

To motivate people, words need to become action. As we head into the upturn and the expanding job market that will go with it, leaders would do well to focus their efforts around four critical qualities.

Transparency: In our case, during the downturn, I made a point of having town halls in which employees were encouraged to ask me any question, with all questions and all answers posted online. In turn, leaders at other levels are expected to deal with questions with equal candor. No ostriches. No elephants.

Appreciation: I always make it a point to thank people, and in that spirit, we've told our leaders be sure to let our best employees know just how much they are valued, especially during tough times.

Respect: Another form of recognition. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all jobs and inflexible hours. Today's worker expects to be treated as an individual, and will tend to stay longer in a job built for his or her unique needs. Such flexibility is challenging for a large organization, but we're building it into the way we develop our people.

Honesty: As the upturn approaches, people need to know that, as the economy improves, the rewards will come. Honestly having this conversation during tough times will make your position more credible as conditions improve. But then the organization needs to deliver.

In short, in good times or tough times, people are motivated when they feel that leaders share their goals and see the same picture. No ostriches. No elephants. No hidden agenda.

Ken Adelman is co-founder and vice president of Movers and Shakespeares, which offers executive training and leadership development. He was a Reagan-era ambassador and arms-control director.

No leader faced greater adversity, and inspired his troops with greater effectiveness, than King Henry V. That's why Winston Churchill modeled some of his greatest World War II addresses after Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day speech.

This frequently performed Shakespeare play is the tale of Britain's greatest king, and England's greatest triumph against tremendous odds.

On the morning of the Battle of Agincourt, Oct. 25, 1415, young Henry faced French forces who outnumbered him by more than 5 to 1 and had a cavalry and armor, while Henry had neither. Nonetheless, the king motivated his 6,000 exhausted, starving men with two key elements: He bound them together as a group -- "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers" -- and then attached a higher cause, a nobler mission, to their efforts.

Along the way, Henry painted a picture of victory by bringing the future into the present. He turned his greatest liability -- too few troops -- into a great asset, arguing that if more men were present, they'd only have to share the glory wider. Those "now abed in England," on this historic day, would forevermore regret they were not there, with them, in Agincourt.

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