to be honest

“This is one of the hallmarks of a leader - having the courage to speak up despite others' moods or discouragement.”

Robert Coles | 1929 -
American writer and psychiatrist
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

That's an observation about Robert Kennedy from Coles' book, Lives of Moral Leadership.

For me, it's one of those aspirational reminders of our responsibility to be honest with each other and ourselves.

Dishonesty is exhausting, isn't it? Having to watch for it. Protect from it. Work around and through it.

Internal (lying to ourselves) and external (lying to others) half-truths, omissions, exaggerations, and lies make it possible for us to do and allow little bad things, big bad things, and all sorts of bad things in between.

Our obvious high-profile scandals are there, along with the more discreet scandals that have yet to be discovered or may never be discovered.

We've also got our everyday dishonesty that I believe we've come to sometimes feel is completely acceptable. These are those moments where we lose our 'courage to speak up despite others' moods or discouragement.'

Or, they can be those moments when we feel like our honesty may have a short or long-term negative impact on us (professionally or personally). And unfortunately, we may be right about the short-term. But if we handle it well, the long-term effect should be a positive one.

Honesty is truth ... sincerity ... free of deceit.

Honesty is inspiring.

To be honest ... is one way to Love Your People.

A little more below.

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A little more...

1st ... Leading a thought with 'To be honest' (and its variants) is one of those phrases that dings my trust for someone when we're talking. I know it's trite conversational filler for some so I do my best to give people the break I'd like to be given. But, for me, the smell of the cliché can linger. I'd bet it does the same for a good chunk of other people too. What's a good chunk? More than 100. ;-)

2nd ... Do you know the fable 'The Emperor's New Clothes?' I always thought I did, but it really goes much further than I knew (10-minute read, tops).

It's about truth, conviction, and being valuable. I love it.

Read with an English accent and a bit of actor's energy, and you might find yourself laughing out loud with pity as you recognize the similarities to some of our organizational experiences today.


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