In the Loop

A well-informed mind is the best security against the contagion of folly and of vice.”   Ann Radcliffe

 My best boss ever kept us in the loop of what was going on at the bank.

 At the time, I was working for a large regional bank in southern Florida. I had been working there for about ten years and had a big portion of my career invested in that bank. One day, I began to hear some rumors that we might be in trouble. Of course, my antenna went up and I began to research a little further. Shortly after my research began, a memo circulated that asked all of the employees to attend a mandatory meeting at a local hotel.  About 600 employees attended.  There were no balloons, no festive decorations and no semblance of any celebration at this event.

After everyone was seated, the doors were closed and the CEO took the podium at the center of the stage. He shared with us the shocking news that the bank was in serious financial trouble.  He asked us to keep this information extremely confidential. He asked us not to even share this information with our spouses or parents.  He said if we did, it might cause a run on the bank and cause all of us to lose our jobs immediately. He went on further to explain that we would have career counselors available to help any employees’ transition to new jobs. For those employees who stayed up to the point of liquidation or merger, a severance package would be provided.  He said that although his goal was two-fold, he first wanted to make sure that we heard this information from the CEO. He also wanted to make sure that his employees had the opportunity of a soft landing during this transition.

I was at first shocked and then amazed that everyone in the bank had been given this information. I was incredibly touched that the CEO would trust all of us with this very vital information.  No one in the bank broke the code of confidentiality, although the bank was not successful and eventually merged with another large regional bank.  However, the jobs and careers of hundreds of employees were saved because of the integrity of my CEO, who shared information with everyone in the bank.  This experience is my benchmark for integrity and for caring for employees and an organization.

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