One of The Container Store's Foundation Principles, as Kip Tindell explains in his book Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives, is that Communication IS Leadership.
The Container Store has a very unique culture. Not only do they have all employees help recruit and pay them double the going rate, but they invest heavily in their training and development. They also communicate absolutely everything with them (except for each other's wages).
By ensuring that everyone is aware of sales figures, goals, initiatives, etc., they empower each and every individual to make informed decisions to help achieve those goals. By ensuring they hire the right type of people and then train them to know everything about the company inside and out, and everything about their products inside and out, they empower them to truly help every customer and build a loyal following.
Their focus on communication also helped The Container Store during rough patches. Whether it was having employees understand the measures taken to protect their jobs during the recession, or having them be part of the development and roll out of the Foundation Principles, every employee was fully informed and behind what the company was doing. There are no secrets or surprises at The Container Store, so as Stan Slap taught us, employees can focus on being productive instead of paranoid.
Reading all the great stories Kip shares about their company and culture made me both envious and hopeful: envious of the employees lucky enough to work in this environment and hopeful that there will eventually be more Conscious Capitalist companies out there.
At the heart of this particular foundation principle is that communication leads to trust and there is no leadership without trust. Can you think of a leader you truly trust? What's his communication like?