We came across an interesting article over the weekend that we wanted to share the message of. That message is one of honesty – both with others and, perhaps more importantly, yourself. The article centres on entrepreneur Audrey Gelman and her experiences as CEO and the challenges she faced as a business founder.
What we found particularly refreshing was the openness of Audrey Gelman. She was willing to explain, not only the successful elements of her company, but also the failures. In particular, was the issue of diversity – a mission for the company from the outset. In many ways, they succeeded, creating a diverse employee and customer base. A community network for women to gather and connect, the company experienced real growth under her leadership.
Now, this is the point where the majority of business leaders would spotlight only the elements of their business where they succeeded. Audrey Gelman certainly has plenty of them. But, here comes the refreshing part: She explained how not enough focus was put on diversity and inclusion. She pointed out gaps where they could have invested more in diverse hiring practices and inclusion training, even going so far as to count these things as failures as CEO.
It didn’t stop there. To move forward and improve on these failings, Audrey Gelman got her team together, along with staff and community members, and listened to understand desired changes from these groups. The result was a formal culture code for the company.
We just had to draw attention to this experience. This is surely an example to others to openly admit failures and then actually do something about them. Only then, can a business truly succeed.