When his world fell down

How one leader communicated clarity, caring, trust

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

A few days after Sept. 11, I saw a TV interview with Howard Lutnick, the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald. The guy was distraught—crying and burying his head in his hands. Connie Chung almost lost it too.

He kept saying, “I have lost 700 of my people. Now I have 700 families to take care of. I have to take care of all these families.”

I’m sure every CEO watching him was wondering the same thing: How would I handle that?

As a rule, I think it’s unwise to get too close to your employees. You’re not really a family, after all. You’re a bunch of people trying to work together to do a job and make money. For some, the job is a way to put food on the table. For others, it’s a stop on their career path. For a few, it’s a really big deal. The job is their life. But it’s not like everyone who goes in to work feels he’s among family.

Clarity: Send a loud message

Of course, Lutnick wasn’t operating under normal conditions. So many of his emplo...(register to read more)

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