A critical leadership lesson from the Home Depot CEO

On January 3, 2007 brand-new CEO Frank Blake of The Home Depot appeared on a broadcast to their then-364,000 associates. 

He said the company needed to return to a focus on their associates and customers. He said he would, “Create an environment where people are free to say what they think. I will be doing a lot of listening.”

Less than a week later, he addressed the employees via broadcast again. He introduced his “inverted pyramid” leadership style. The C-suite was at the bottom, while the associates were at the top.

During his 8-year tenure, the store associate bonus pool grew from $36M in 2006 to $250M in 2013, while the number of associates stayed the same.

Mr. Blake had an understanding of one big #leadership factor – your associates, your staff, your team…it’s the only thing that separates you from your competitors. He used future company-wide broadcasts to share success stories from the customer-facing associates.   

Here’s the thing – Home Depot needed to build a satellite network to broadcast good news about their associates. Yes, they needed to launch a rocket. Do you know what you have available to do the same thing in 2019? #LinkedIn

The technology is available at your fingertips to share great news about people with whom you work. Are you taking advantage?

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