Why I Believe Radical Self Honesty Is THE Top Value Needed In A Great Corporate Leader


If you are in a position of leadership (and are reading an article like this), you likely genuinely care about people. You want to see your team perform at their best and you are invested in them. Let’s discuss what I believe is THE top value for a great corporate leader to have – radical self honesty.

You also want to be the type of leader that leads from the front. Yet, in the place of caring we often have internal hesitance to acknowledge what is. Our brains often create layers of meaning when acknowledging gaps in our current team culture, growth trajectory or productivity.

We make it mean things like:

  • “I hired wrong”
  • “They just aren’t getting it”
  • “I must be a subpar leader”

But you cannot ignore what is for long because business is not static.

If your current team culture sucks, your best people will find another place with a better culture.
If the team’s productivity is below par, other departments will get that budget.
If the product is not performing, your competitors will take up that market share.

Here’s the truth:

You cannot create an effective map forward for your team if you are unclear about where you currently are. When you ask your GPS for directions, the first thing it asks is where are you starting. You may desire to be 5 minutes away from the venue but if you’re 45 minutes away, that’s what’s up. Your GPS is not emotional about telling you how long it will take based on where you are, it draws the map and moves on.

So if you are going to lead well, you need to start by acknowledging what is working well, what isn’t, and exactly what the target looks like. You need this clarity but even more so, your team needs it. They cannot create from a fuzzy vision. Radical self honesty means being very clear about what winning looks like so that everyone can get on the same page and focus on creating that vision.

So, stop hiding. Stop using fuzzy corporate ‘speak’ that leaves your direct reports confused about what you mean and what you want. Be clear, be caring and be honest with yourself and with them.

Take Action:

Are you currently facing an important leadership decision or challenge? Think of a past instance where being radically honest with yourself dramatically changed the way you approached a team issue or leadership decision. What did you learn from that experience that you can translate into your current situation?

Being radically honest with yourself takes courage, humility, and sometimes a little help! Get in touch to schedule complimentary discussion to help you navigate your radically honesty journey.

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