The Leader and Truth
December 10, 2012 1 Comment
The conscious denial of reality is a central danger of leadership, and the leader must defend against this temptation. History is filled with generals who refused to admit they had been out-maneuvered, captains who refused to admit they were lost, and CEOs who refused to admit that no one was buying their products. In order to do this, the leader must demand to know everything critical and essential to the organization, its tasks, its operating status, its finances, its policies, its history, and its opportunities. The leader must be unafraid of data and facts, and he must surround himself with people who know the information he needs and will give it to him. The leader starts out by affirming the importance of reality and the crucial facts that must be known, and he makes clear that decision making is going to be accountable to those facts. The data will be investigated, analyzed, poked, prodded, and sometimes taken apart and put together again. The leader assumes the responsibility to work until the facts make sense and a clear picture comes into view.
Thus, the leader’s disciplined posture is to lean into the truth and to be unafraid of it. He demands that those around him tell him the truth, and he leads by being the truth teller in chief. He does not allow the organization to be tempted by either dishonesty or self-deception, and he models personal honesty.
Al Mohler, The Conviction to Lead