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"Nothing's going to change" is the worst thing you can say

It instantly erodes a leader’s credibility and is not just misleading; it's damaging.

Pepper Foster Consulting

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are massive events in the corporate world. They promise new opportunities, efficiencies, and growth. But saying 'Don't worry, nothing's going to change' instantly erodes a leader’s credibility. This statement is not just misleading; it's damaging.

Here's why:

Change is inevitable in M&As. Whether it's a merger where cultures and teams blend or an acquisition where one company seeks to capitalize on an opportunity, change is the only constant. Leaders who claim otherwise are either naive or deliberately misleading.

And guess what? Your team knows it.

When a company is acquired, or merged, the very essence of that move implies change. In acquisitions, the acquiring company sees potential for improvement, whether through operational efficiencies or market expansion. On the flip side, the company being acquired often sees an opportunity for a lucrative exit or a chance to be part of something bigger.

In mergers, it's a power play. One side will inevitably dominate, or both will integrate into a new entity.

So, when leaders say, "Nothing will change," they're essentially ignoring the very reason the M&A is happening in the first place; to change things!

Lying or sugarcoating the truth has a price: your credibility.

When you're not upfront about the changes that will occur, you're setting yourself up for failure. Trust, once lost, is hard to regain.

The key to a successful M&A lies in clear, honest communication. Tell your team what to expect and why the change is happening. Be honest about the positives and the negatives. If you’re honest and it’s a good move, the team is more likely to stick with you through the changes and the company will grow stronger. And, if you’re afraid of telling your team the truth, maybe this merger or acquisition isn’t such a good idea after all!

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