Leadership On the Edge

10 Things Coworkers Won’t Say

To paraphrase the great Dean Martin: “Everybody annoys somebody at work sometimes”. In turn we all know that if we say everything that came to our minds all the time, our coworkers would hate us and it wouldn’t be long before we were angering people on the unemployment line.

With this in mind, the fine folks over at recently put out an informative and eye-opening list of the 10 Thing Your Coworkers Won’t Say. Check out the list and if you can think of any other things you won’t say to your coworkers, stop biting your tongue and drop me a line and let me know about them!

10 Things Your Coworkers Won’t Say

BLG Leadership Insights Leadership On the Edge

11 Companies With The Worst Reputations In America

Making a top 10 list is every company’s dream. You can make up a nice plaque celebrating the accomplishment and hang it next to reception or you can plaster it all over your website and promotional materials.  It’s a way to tell the world: “We’re awesome!”

Then again not all top 10 lists are created equal. There are some that you might want to do everything you can to avoid. One such list is the Huffington Post’s 11 Companies With The Worst Reputations In America which was culled from the backside of the 12th Annual Harris Interactive U.S. Reputation Quotient Survey. According the Huffington Post, Harris got 30,000 Americans to rate the 60 most visible companies in the US using six factors: financial performance, products and services, workplace environment, vision and leadership, social responsibility, and emotional appeal. The results aren’t exactly shocking. The list is a who’s who of corportate screw ups. If you got a massive bailout due to your incompetence and sheer greed or thought it might be a good idea to destroy an ecosystem this list is your home away from home.

I am guessing all of these “winners” will try hard to make this list next year. But seeing how much literal and figurative damage most of them have done… I kinda doubt it.

BLG Leadership Insights Ideas Leadership On the Edge Managerial Competence Proactive Leaders Proactive Stories Social Media

How To Avoid The “Worst” List

As a businessperson there are some lists you want to be on. Everything from the famed  Fortune 500 all the way to the not-so-famed 100 Best Small Business Podcast of 2010. Just as long as “Best” or “Favorite” ends up in the title, you’re usually good to go. On the flip side there are some lists in the business world you really want to avoid. Perfect example? Business Insider’s The 18 Worst Companies In America.  Business Insider’s list is based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index which reports scores on a 0-100 scale at the national level.

As a leader why should you care about some dime-a-dozen Top 10 list? Everyone in the biz knows that lists like these can be challenged for any number of reasons (methodology, sample size, bias etc.) but guess what: The average consumer who sees it on Yahoo does care. They don’t check into the methodology, they just see that you only got 60 out of 100 for customer satisfaction. With so many different companies offering the same services for roughly the same price, it is imperative that you as leader make sure to never give the consumer even the slightest opportunity to not choose you.  The old Hollywood axiom that “any press is good press” does not apply here.

The idea of positive PR is more important than ever. Negative information shoots seemingly at the speed of light across the world via our new/old friend the internet. The best way to avoid a negative “meme-a-lanche” is to be proactive. Get ahead of the problem by focusing on customer service, community relations and most importantly, employee engagement. If you know what your employees are feeling, thinking and doing then you can try to pinpoint problems before they become company wide. Customers don’t just deal with computers and web pages, they deal with people, and it’s those people, your employees; that make those experiences either good or bad.

Check out the list and see for yourself how your opinions of somefamous company’s might be changed, shifted or even questioned for the very first time. Because no matter what you thought before seeing the list, there is now a seed of doubt planted in your mind that could have been avoided with a little proactive leadership. Oh and it doesn’t hurt to hire a really good PR firm.