I had just started work as the new CFO of a major not for profit. For me it was a dream come true - a job that I interviewed hard for and prayed it would be offered to me.
Anxious to prove my worth as the hard-charging Chief Financial Officer of this multi-million dollar organization, whenever I found something I thought my CEO should know, I would race to his office and deliver my “discovery” with great excitement.
My enthusiasm was such that, after a few months, my CEO really didn’t like to see me coming down the hall. So I tried a new tactic. I held back all my “discoveries” ( oh, and did I mention they were seldom “good news”?) until Friday afternoon and then delivered them en masse.
Finally, my beleaguered CEO said, “Do you know what you do to my weekend? You share something that you have found in your effort to keep me informed. I appreciate that, and that's what I hired you for. But you dump this news to me on Friday afternoon and I worry all weekend. Then the first thing Monday morning, I head to your office." I will never forget the look on his face.
My first reaction was that I’ve really screwed up! I’m probably going to get fired, or should be fired. I’ve ruined his weekends and more important, damaged the relationship that was so necessary.
Then I tried something different. If bad news ruined his weekend, maybe good news would please him. So, that week, I learned if it was really important, share it with the CEO as soon as possible. Then throughout the week, I would look for some good news, something that demonstrated the power of the organization and its mission. If it had financial implications, even better!
Every Friday I delivered some good news for my CEO to start the weekend with. It became a habit that we both looked forward to. That was 30 years ago, we’re still the best of friends.
What's some good news you can deliver to your leadership or staff team today?