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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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About the Author

Spencer helps you save time through teaching digital marketing and social media strategies in plain English, after proving they actually work for himself and his company AmpliPhi first. He also is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University.

Spencer X Smith

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