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Integrity is required


As leaders we have to be very honest with ourselves and operate with extreme candor when discussing company challenges. We must give everyone the opportunity to get behind and engage with us; giving in to the urge to "please the crowd" with a "feel-good" version of the challenge will be devastating.

If the challenge is to cut spending, then say that. Will everyone like it - no, probably not, but if you really want to see results, then you have to operate with a clarity that can only come from integrity of message.

Using "internal marketing" to soften the blow of a hard but needed definition of a challenge simply clouds it. People will leave with a mixed bag of what the issues are instead of a tight area to engage and improve.

I hear sometimes - "but that sounds bad", or "that is not a positive message", or "that is not the kind of company we want to be". If any of these statements ring as true - then, examine your challenge item and ask if it is really required. But renaming a challenge to make it "easier to hear" is not on the path to solving anything and certainly not helpful to achieving focus.

The reality is that sometimes, things are not positive, which is likely why the challenge is present in the first place and it is our responsibility as leaders to share the good and the bad with integrity.

The people who choose to allow us to lead them will be more likely to embrace the good messages when they observe that we have the courage and trust in them to deliver the not-so-good ones.

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