The Truth is Just Before our Eyes!

I was talking with the head of a government agency a few weeks ago. He was telling me that his teams have no sense of accountability. He said, “they are expert at finger pointing and always have a good story about why commitments are not met.” He asked if I could help.

Over the next week, I read the organization’s internal documents that covered everything from their purpose and this year’s goals, to how they planned to promote their organization to the public. The problem they were facing jumped right off the pages I was reading. The public story they were creating about who they were is in conflict with how they privately view themselves.

This is common in so many areas of our life. I want you to see me in what I feel is the most positive light. Generally, this means that I appear to be nearly perfect. I am extremely competent. I handle my commitments impeccably, and the people in my organization work perfectly together.

I understand why it’s appealing to portray this picture. The problem is that we know this type of impeccable behavior is rare, and, anyway, it isn’t who we are. Our hopeful self-deception creates expectations we can’t fulfill, and surprise when we don’t meet our goals.

I also noticed when talking with this leader their sense of helplessness. It was clear this was linked to a disparity of perceptions. The results is he feels overwhelmed and sees no way out of his current situation. He confided that the way to solve the organizations problems with more resources, particularly staffing.

The problem isn’t a lack of resources, it’s unresolved conflicts within the leader. Their attachment to looking good has created an “Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome”. No one tells them the truth out of fear of retribution, and the problems compound. The road ahead isn’t pretty for this leader or his organization.

What can they (or you or I for that matter) do when are in the middle of this kind of mess? Most let a crisis sweep over them. This requires truth telling, and usually the leader is out of work. This is not necessary.

Every day, we can have as our top priority learning what’s really happening in our world. This means putting aside the need to be right, and proactively listening without prejudice. This takes practice, whether you are listening to customers or colleagues, those who work for you or your family. Everyone can offer something that gives us a glimpse of ourselves and the world around us we can’t see. So go ahead, allow the mirrors to show the truth within.

Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

1 thought on “The Truth is Just Before our Eyes!”

  1. This is a story that I see every day. It is increasingly clear to me that stunning, almost unbelievable goodness comes from seeing the truth and then acting based on that truth. The opposite is also true.

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