Sharing ideas

Even though she’s been in
the business for two
decades, Lori D. Marcus still doesn’t think she knows
it all, and she doesn’t hesitate
to ask employees for their

By getting employee input, the
principal of QUAD656 LLC — a
recruiting firm that posted 2007
revenue of about $10 million —
can then use the best pieces of
advice to complete a task.

“Now that’s not to say what
you tell me I’m going to necessarily do, but through that conversation, something else might
arise or it might give me a different way of looking at something,” Marcus says.

Smart Business spoke with
Marcus about how to communicate with your employees to
build a successful company.

Q. What are the characteristics of a good leader?

It’s all about communication
when people need help. It’s a
very open-door policy. You can
help somebody through a
process and … you can work
with them hand in hand, and
you can role-play a particular

You can share with them your
ideas, and that’s valuable as
being a team. You can elicit
information from a whole bunch
of people. You can get their perspective. Everybody is going to
have their own style, and when
you’re young in your career,
whether you are on a leadership
track, a management track, you
are building a foundation.

So, that foundation, you need
to have ethics, and you need to
be loyal, and you need to be
honest, but you are going to
adapt your own style based upon what you pull from each
person you are working with. I
think that helps to build a good

Q. How do you set up an
open environment?

Communication is really the
key. When you set that groundwork when you bring somebody on board that that’s the
expectation, then you foster
that expectation. You reach out
to your team members or to
your employees, and you share
information from them,
and you solicit information back — that makes
them feel a part of the