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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Liz Elting is president and C.E.O. of TransPerfect, a translation service. This interview was conducted by Adam Bryant of the New York Times:
‘Q. When you started the company with your partner, did you have discussions about the culture you wanted to create?
A. Meritocracy was always a big concept to us — making sure that the best people were promoted and rewarded, and that is very much how we run our company now. Virtually all of the senior people at our company were promoted from within. Most of them started at entry-level positions. And so it’s very much a meritocracy. We also believe in holding people accountable. We’re also big believers in being completely open and transparent.
Q. Make that real for me. How do you do that?
A. We share with our people what’s going on in the company. We’re open with our financials because it’s better if they understand what’s going on. We make sure they’re clear on the vision and that they understand it. We also let them know our accomplishments and our challenges as well as our shared goals.
Here’s another example of being open: If we have a manager who says one thing, and another employee who says something else, and they come to us independently, we’ll put them together in a room with one of us and have a three-way conversation. There’s no reason to have side conversations. We simply bring everyone together, we talk about the issue, and we resolve it.
And when we have other meetings, we really encourage people to talk and let us know what’s on their minds so we can address it. We don’t want meetings to be a couple of people talking and everyone else listening. I do think people need to contribute. Some people are more executers, some people are more innovators, and some people are a combination but we need ideas. People often have them, and they don’t share them, so we need to encourage them.’