Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's Time for Radical Honesty

I was talking with a friend about leadership. We've had the same experience at a few different places--

Leadership that wants to appear forthcoming, but still holds back.

An in group that knows what's really going on, but doesn't want to acknowledge it.

Organizations that are limited because the information people have, and their power to act on it, is limited.

People, companies, and governments that consistently disappoint.

I think it's time for a change, a time for radical honesty.

It's time to share as much as we possibly can within the bounds of the law and ethics.

It's time to never, ever, ever, make things seem better, or worse, than they really are.

It's time to communicate and act from a grounding of trust and love for each other, stakeholders, and the community. To be honest and respectful in all our dealings with each other. And to work to make all better off.

I recognize that people may ridicule the idea of love in the workplace or in society in general, but what's the alternative? We've just come through one of the most frightening financial scares since the Great Depression, and we could be on the verge of another one. Companies have toed the line of legality and propriety while actively courting customers (borrowers) who were not qualified. Governments have mortgaged our future. Ponzi schemes, whether going by the name Bernie Madoff or Enron or Medicare, abound.

It's time to return to a simple standard. Tell everyone exactly what we are doing and why. And let us be praised or scorned on that basis.

Winston Churchill once said that Americans can be counted on to do the right thing, once they've tried everything else. Feels like that time is now.

Interested in your thoughts.


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