Why you can’t be successful without telling the truth
Being successful and telling the truth go hand in hand, not only in our personal lives, but also our professional ones. To many of us, it wouldn’t register that if we tell a lie, no matter how big or small, we are potentially hindering our relationships and potential for continued success.
Success starts with the truth
It is apparent that we continue to strive for success in our personal and professional lives. However, how often is it that we actually take a moment to think whether the lies we are telling our family and colleagues affect us on our pathway to success? Whether we agree to consciously acknowledge it or not, lies deceive us and the person/s whom we are lying to.
When faced with the possibility of being confronted by the truth, particularly in a professional environment, we immediately retreat, as the outcome may not be desirable in the short term. However, speaking the truth has far more benefits than that of a lie. If you tell a lie to your colleague, you risk not only damaging their feelings, but also damaging the income of your business. This outcome is not desirable if you are wanting to achieve continued success in your career.
If for example, you assure your employee they are doing an excellent job in their role, when they are not, you risk both their success and yours by telling this ‘harmless’ lie. Yes, in the short term you may damage their feelings, and your business may briefly suffer as a consequence. Though in the long term, your employee will know how to better themselves and become more efficient, saving your business time and money on training expenses.
If you make the decision to let your colleague go, as they are not the right fit, you must tell the truth as it allows them to keep their dignity intact and leave with a clear and positive pathway forward. As a result of letting your employee know the truth in a respectful and dignified manner, you are free to move on to employ someone who is better suited to your business, saving you time and money. Thus leading you along the path to success.
Sustaining a successful business with truth
Sustaining a successful business is a core role as a leader. Not only must you speak the truth, but you must also have trust and value in your professional relationships. If you don’t exercise these key requirements, then you can rest assured your business will cease to grow and thrive. If you do not trust your colleagues and employees with hearing the truth, then you will cause many problems for everyone involved, including the business itself. If not trusted, your colleagues will not be able to make decisions on their own. How can they possibly make important decisions autonomously if they know they are not trusted? It is not up to us whether someone else can handle the truth or not, it is however up to us to speak the truth in an upfront, tactful and compassionate manner, regardless of how uncomfortable we may feel.
As a successful leader, you will know it is near impossible to get by without telling the truth. You will also know that telling the truth is an extremely important and vital measure of how effective your leadership skills actually are. If you are interested in finding out your level of truthfulness and where you fall on the continuum, then contact Integrity and Values at firstname.lastname@example.org for a profile assessment today.
Jennifer Elliott is the founder and CEO of Integrity and Values, a leadership development organisation that empowers leaders to build responsible teams that produce extraordinary results.
Recognised as one of Australia’s leading executive leadership and behavioural change consultants, Jennifer has worked with teams and individuals across Australia for over 30 years..
Jennifer’s impressive sales and management history is supported by her own experience owning and running successful multi-million dollar companies and through building and leading her own effective teams. She has first-hand knowledge on the business building process, the payroll struggle, confronting management issues and dealing with cash-flow problems.