Honesty is so important
I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you're trying to accomplish and what you're willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.
There is a story about a retiring CEO who was unsure of whom his replacement would be. He called a meeting of his top aids and said that he was going to give the position to the executive who could get the greatest results from a seed he would give them today but measure the outcomes in six months.
One of the senior management team was Bill who just could not get this seed to grow at all though he tried so hard with different fertilizers, alternative lighting patterns and all kinds of potting soil. He just did not know what he was going to do.
On the morning before the presentation of the results of this test, Bill was talking to his wife about what should he do. She recommended that honesty was the most important attribute for a chief executive and for him to show the pot with no growth from this seed. Bill was so reluctant to do this.
Bill decided to follow his wife’s advice and went to this meeting with his empty pot. When he saw the others results, he felt like a failure. Their plants were lush with growth and all were at least 4 feet high. He was so embarrassed not to have any results and many times he thought about just leaving the meeting rather than being embarrassed in front of the entire staff.
At the meeting the CEO asked each of his team to show him the results and to tell him how they had achieved such amazing results. Of course Bill hung back and was the last to show the CEO his pot but then went up and said I tried just about everything I could think of, but I just could not get the seed to grow.
With this statement the CEO made the announcement that he decided whom his replacement was going to be. He said Bill was going to be the next CEO as he was only person that was honest about the seeds. He went on to explain that he had boiled the seeds before hand so that there was no way for them to grow at all and Bill was only one who was honest.
While this is only a story it clearly shows the value of honesty. Without honesty there is no trust as trust is predicated on honesty. Honesty just should be the foundation of every enterprise.
As a CEO or manager you have to be incredibly honest to gain the respect of your staff and to insure that they will be honest to you. I once asked some of my staff if they had to choose me to be honest or nice, but not both, towards them, what would they choose? They all appreciated my being nice but they really valued my honesty and did not want to give that at all up.
Being a leader, you have a higher responsibility about honesty. You are the role model and unless you can demonstrate this quality on a consistent basis, you just are not going to get your staff to be honest with you.
Now go out and make a commitment to be as honest as you can be to everyone whom you have contact with. I promise you that your life will be much better and your organization will operate with higher levels of efficiency.
You can do this!