By Andrea Keating
Founder and CEO
Since I founded Crews Control nearly 25 years ago, one of the most important qualities to me as a manager has been honesty and trust.
This is true for my employees, my clients, my colleagues—and for myself. After all, no relationship is healthy without these essential factors.
I recently read a posting on marketing and business expert Seth Godin’s blog, which I thought was spot-on. It’s called The Honest Broker:
It really is a choice, one or the other.
Either you happily recommend the best option for your customer, or you give preference to your own items first.
Either you believe in what you sell, or you don’t.
Either you treat your best partners better, or you treat everyone the same.
Either you shade the truth when it’s painful to do otherwise, or you consistently share what’s important.
Either you always keep your promises or you don’t.
Either you give me the best price the first time, or you make me jump through hoops to get there.
Earning the position of the honest broker is time-consuming and expensive. Losing it takes just a moment.
I couldn’t agree more. Successful companies must be transparent, open, and honest, or the organization breaks down.
Sick leave increases, because employees won’t want to come to work. Commitment will wane, and productivity will plummet.
That doesn’t sound like a good scenario to me.
What’s more, I firmly believe that the future success of managers, leaders, and corporate America as a whole is based on our ability to develop and sustain trust in an organization. And it always starts at the top.
Here are three things that we do at Crews Control to ensure honesty is the only policy. Feel free to take a page from our playbook!
1. Your word is your bond. Sound old fashioned? It isn’t. In fact, I’d argue that this ideal is essential in today’s hyper-digital, rarely-face-to-face society. Honesty builds trust, and trust is the most powerful advantage that any business leader can possess.
2. Take responsibility. If you make a mistake, misquote someone, or drop the ball on a project—own it, acknowledge it, and make it right. Sure, you can make excuses. But they’ll never be as powerful as one honest acknowledgment, apology, and quick resolution.
3. Even the playing field. Allow everyone to play by the same rules—whether they are employees, clients, or vendors. Preferential treatment only helps the one person who is getting it, and that can be detrimental to the rest. When you act with an equal amount of fairness to everyone you work with, expectations are clear. It not only keeps things honest, it is helps your company build success as a team.
About Andrea Keating and Crews Control
Andrea Keating founded the nation’s first film-and-video-crew staffing agency, Crews Control, in 1988. Since then, the company has become a multimillion-dollar international firm that provides video production crews and related services to the corporate media market.
With 250 of the global Fortune 500 companies as clients, and more than 2,000 video crews on its roster, Keating’s focus today is the same one that she launched the business with nearly 25 years ago: To match each client with the best local crew for each specific shoot.
A serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping new companies grow and develop, she has helped launch several businesses including the media staffing and production management firm, TeamPeople, and Scenios, where she is on the Board of Directors.
She also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, which is her alma mater.