Say it like it is

A few years ago I attended a leadership seminar at which a retired very senior manager from one of the world’s largest companies was asked what he thought was THE most important thing for leaders to learn in order to be effective. His answer has stayed with me ever since – “do everything you say that you’ll do.”

In a 15 year survey of hundreds of thousands of people on six continents, Kouzes & Posner asked what qualities people most admire in leaders. The top answer, by a distance, was honesty.

Do what you say; be honest. Is good leadership really that simple?

I’ve been talking recently with two different small business owners that are doing really, really well. Both shared with me that one of the reasons their clients tell them they keep coming back for more is that they love the honesty with which they are treated. They always know exactly where they stand, never feel ‘sold to’, and even when mistakes are made, admitted, and professionally rectified, they love that too!

In a world of so much distrust, dishonesty, cover-up,  blaming others and general lack of taking personal responsibility, people love honesty. Consistently practised over time, through good and not-so-good circumstances, its incredibly powerful!

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