If you happened to watch the GOP Convention last night you may have caught New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s speech, and that leaders need to speak the truth. Speaking about all leaders, not just elected officials, the concept of truth-telling as being difficult but necessary got the crowd on their feet.
I am a truth-telling leader, and I have found that it is a process that produces productivity and waste little time with communication games. I have also found that most folks appreciate the truth unless you are speaking about them.
So the masses that we lead want to know what is really going on, what is working and what is not. They want to know the depth of problems and a truth-telling leader will provide the information needed to empower and engage people into action.
Yet, for “Political” reasons we often sugar coat the story or spin it to make things look better than reality. While Governor Christie was talking about government truth-telling leaders fighting the political reality, I thought that companies play the same kind of politics.
Have you ever worked for a company that you thought was doing just fine, and one day you are out of work and the company folded in front of your eyes? Whatever caused the crash didn’t just happen, but had been building and kept under wraps for a long time. Obviously no truth-telling leaders worked at that company!
Sometimes the truth is hard to take. Sometimes the truth causes paralysis. Sometimes the truth ends relationships. But in the end, telling the truth is a sure sign of leadership, at least in my book.