Email Leadership

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If it’s not a surprise


party invite,


opt out of 


“Bcc…” emails!


     True leaders are transparent throughout their daily conduct. They don’t just open the books, the files, the records, and their agendas to others, they think twice and email once. When you think you need to Bcc someone on an email, think again.

     Paint yourself a worst-case scenario. The To people and the Cc people find out about the Bcc person or people, and then where are you? [Up the paddle without a creek!]

     Just because we are becoming a less one-on-one social and more tech-social society, is no excuse to hide communications with others. If doing that feels essential, you may want to re-visit the purpose and intent of your message to begin with. In fact, you may want to re-visit your organization’s integrity. 

    By using email Bcc options as a matter of practice, you not only run the risk of jeopardizing your own credibility, you threaten the credibility of others. And you definitely set a bad precedent. People always think it’s okay to do what the boss does just because the boss does it. [They need some other reason?]

     If it’s impossible in your organization to be open and forthright about sensitive issues, it’s equally impossible to be an effective leader. Today’s generation doesn’t really care what your leadership messages have to say as much as they are preoccupied with and focused on what you do, and the examples you set. HOW you transmit a message is as important as the content of the message. 

     A Bcc user is a buttoned-up suit functioning out of a closed-door back office when people are looking for a frontline, hands-on leader with sleeves rolled up. Routine use of email Bccs sends out clandestine signals. How can others surmise anything trustworthy about someone who is known for constantly communicating behind their backs?

     Let’s say you have been charged with solving a customer service problem. Why would you leave the customer out of the communication loop? Afraid of the customer seeing weakness in your organization? Perhaps weakness has more to do with not communicating? [And fear is after all, a choice.]

     How about including your customer in the flow of communications so he/she can see and experience your organization’s commitment to resolving the issues at hand? Too risky? What’s the risk of no feedback about the problem-solving efforts? How do those dynamics apply internally?

     How would you respond to employees who Bcc you on emails they’re exchanging with their immediate supervisors? Would you confront the practice immediately or let it simmer? Would you share the news with the immediate supervisors?

     Would it depend on the circumstances and the people involved? Why? Why wouldn’t this, being a policy issue, be treated as a policy issue? What can be done to prevent the destructive practice from being practiced in the first place?   

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