Authors: Tom Gartland, Patrick Sweeney and Tim Finchem
If you want your company to thrive, you need to break one of the oldest unwritten rules of leadership. Leaders in nearly every industry have learned to keep a professional “distance” between themselves and the people who report to them—to avoid getting too close or too personal. This unwritten rule of leadership is pervasive and quietly destructive, and, little by little, keeping ourselves at arm’s length destroys trust, collaboration, and the very fabric of organizations. When Tom Gartland became president of Avis Budget Group, North America, he wanted the corporate culture to become more “open and connected”—so he started with himself. His message was “business is personal—very personal.” As he grew closer and connected more with those he was leading, he became a more effective leader, and those around him were inspired to create unprecedented results. Tom found that when we truly open up and care about the people we work with, we can transform organizations into sanctuaries where people feel a deep connection to one another, a profound sense of being part of an important mission, and extraordinary engagement in their work.
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