How Honest does a true Leader have to be?

One of my challenges in life is that I have a belief that people would want to do the best. That is an objective best. Some would say I am a naive idealist.

The response is that the world is not that way. People don’t do the right thing! It never works out perfectly! You just can’t trust people to do their best! People will always attempt to rip you off! You can never trust anyone!

I do have this ideal about what leadership ought to be. Yet as I look around me I see so much that is purported to be leadership thinly disguised. Disguised as leadership but in essence it is ego, it is greed, it is power, it is manipulative, it is controlling.

It is not about true leadership, which is for the good of the whole, rather it is about a form of power that is only interested in achieving it’s own specific agenda.

I have always been the person who sees the good in people, even if it is only 10% of their behaviour. Who could see the capability, in amongst the failure. Who could sense the potential when all seemed dark and future-less.

Periodically I drop into places of despair because I can see the big picture of a world where everyone listens and is interested in what the other person thinks and feels, yet the world cannot see it. Rather it only sees agenda, politics, polarities, black and white. Right or wrong.

I have just watched a DVD called “An American Affair”. This is a 2009 film of the J F Kennedy era of history. It could be a whole group of DVD’s but this one happened to be it for me today.

I saw a whole group of people who would stop at nothing to ensure that their point of view was imposed. I know it is perceived as conspiracy theory to speculate as to how he died, however, it could be perceived that if nothing else, there were a whole group who were overjoyed when JFK was killed.

Okay, what has this to do with Leadership?

I believe it has a stack of things to do with it.

One of my compatriots who write a brilliant blog and is highly capable of summarizing others writings is Graham Stoney, he did a review of   Brad Blanton’s book “Radical Honesty” . I see the focus here on how honest are we willing to be.

My question in leadership is are we willing to be totally open and honest with our agenda so that all the stakeholder are truly on a level playing field.

It would seem that if leadership cannot have total honesty and integrity then it is lacking in true leadership.

In all honesty, what is your leadership style? Are you being totally honest with those you are leading?Can you truly look yourself in the mirror and say, “I have given 100% of myself to this business that I am leading? I have given 100% to the people I am leading?”

For interestingly if you can’t say that, then the people who you are committed to lead will be aware of your dishonesty and they will not give of themselves either.

The followers will give as much as their leader and the depth of their commitment to the process is reflected in how they appraise the depth of honesty and commitment of their leader.

Great food for thought!!!

Is there something better that you could do


Posted on July 20, 2011, in Business, growing, honesty, leadership, Management, openness, Persistence, Resilience, vulnerability. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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