It could be my lucky day!
I just learned a lot of very juicy information about a company that as an external person I should definitely NOT know.
I won’t name names on this blog because that would be unprofessional, so let’s just call the company “X”!
What do I know about X?
I know that the boss is a terrible manager and doesn’t like anyone working for him that is smarter than him. I know that the marketing team is having major cultural issues.
I know a key project is behind schedule and the client doesn’t know. I know a little about a prospect they are about to pitch to and what the key element is that is going to win them that pitch.
I know that they have a boozy culture, that no-one works on Friday afternoons (but they are meant to) and that Tuesday after the long weekend is going to be a slow day for the sales team and no one cares!
I know the name of the boss, the prospect, the project that is behind schedule and who called in sick last weekend because they had a hangover!
As a business owner, this is significant information for someone external to know about a company.
How do I know this information?
I heard it from a small group of employees from X who decided to share it with everyone in the subway car last night.
They obviously were only talking to each other and not all of the strangers in the car, but they had a complete disregard for the volume they were speaking at and the confidential nature of the information they were discussing.
Now I don’t happen to know X but if they were a competitor I would be rubbing my hands together right now, and if I was the potential employee I would be continuing my job search elsewhere.
It is absolutely critical to talk to your team about their behaviour outside of work.
This includes what they are talking about in public places, what they are reading or working on that someone could oversee, how they are wearing the company swag, and what behaviour they are displaying in the company swag.
I recommend pulling your team together to discuss this. It could be the most important staff training you ever give!
You never know who is listening!