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"...I would call lack of candor the biggest dirty little secret in business." Jack Welch, Winning
Today I had a conversation with a co-worker about one of the biggest problems we find in most organizations that we consult with. This stumbling block for many leaders is a lack of candor from the leadership teams. As I reflected on this issue throughout the evening I have come to the conclusion that this is one of the largest problems in leadership today. I have seen this problem in large companies, small companies and non-profits alike.
Jack Welch is the best at communicating on this issue that I have read. In his book, Winning, he devotes an entire chapter to the subject. I would highly recommend reading his treatment of candor.
Here are some of the highlights Jack details on the subject:
Jim Collins also addresses the need for a culture of candor in his book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. He calls this process, confronting the brutal facts.
Collins teaches us that all good to great companies began the process of finding a path to greatness by confronting the brutal facts about the reality of their organization. When you determine the truth of your situation, the right decisions often become self-evident. It is impossible to make good decisions without infusion an honest confrontation of the brutal facts. A primary task in taking a company from good to great is to create a culture where people have the opportunity to be heard and ultimately the truth to be heard.
Winston Churchill created a Statistical Office, with the primary function of feeding him continuously and completely unfiltered the most brutal facts of reality.
Leadership does not begin with just a vision. It begins with getting people to confront the brutal facts and act on the implications.
Our inability to provide honest, timely feedback to our team members is a huge disservice to them and it creates a great liability for us as leaders. When we fail to have the tough conversations when our team members are not meeting expectations we fail them as leaders. We fail ourselves and our teams as well. We hamper the effectiveness and health of our organizations.
What are some of the reasons for this lack of candor?
Let me know your thoughts on developing a culture of candor.
Be Candid! Let me know what you think about this subject!