How Trust and Transparency Saved My Business

As CEO, I am essentially in “sales” every day; selling the vision of the company, the culture, the products and the future to employees, partners, clients and investors.

When there were challenges, however, I simply tried to solve them myself. 2010 was a huge year of growth and expansion, doubling our workforce and incubating two new companies, but it led to working capital challenges that I had never experienced before. I put on a happy face while my stress level grew inside, and it became a very lonely place.

How I solved it:
Ultimately, by internalizing I was not confiding in -- and making the most out of -- the fabulous team I had assembled around me. When I was finally pressed by that very team to become really transparent, it was not only a huge sense of relief but the results were astounding. We trimmed the fat, we tackled inefficiencies and we refocused on our biggest opportunities. Virtually overnight, we have never been in a better position, and as we move into 2011, the future is very bright.

The Lesson: First, hire great people; surround yourself with talent. Luckily, I had done that well. Second, be open, transparent and empower them to make the biggest impact they can; otherwise that talent is not getting put to use. I will be a better leader for it, the company will be more successful, and I now sleep far better at night.

About Michael Mothner

Michael Mothner is the founder and CEO of Wpromote, one of the world's leading online marketing firms with 75+ employees and 2,000+ clients including HP,, Bayer, Allied Moving and Symantec. He was also featured by Inc Magazine as one of "30 CEO's under 30 To Watch."

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