I don’t get it, I jut don’t get it, what is so funny about the truth ?
Last week I was at an advisory meeting for an industry event, I was there with peers, senior people, VP’s, Senior Directors and CIO’s. We were having a fantastically robust discussion with much productive conflict, until it happened. What is that you ask, well I have not experienced that much “nervous” laughter since I was in middle school and the health teacher was talking about “SEX”.
Here is how the story goes. At the end of the meeting, as a means of a roundtable/wrap up, the meeting facilitator asked everyone for a closing word or two. She started with me, she said “ Chris what are you passionate about”, for me that is very simple, I am passionate about accountability, vulnerability and truth. So I said, I am passionate about the truth. Then the person to my right said to me, so the whole group could hear “Well Good Luck with THAT”, at which time the entire room broke out in laughter. So what is so funny about truth that would cause a number of senior private and public sector leaders to laugh out load? Were they nervous, like my grade 8 peers in health class ? Were they jaded and all of a sudden truth is funny or did they just simply enjoy the fact that I was being made fun of…….
Well lets start with me, if you read the “Your Career or the Cause” blog you will fast come to realize I am not too concerned about me. Besides after the brief laughter balloon floated to the ground, my comment was “I don’t need Luck”.
Whether nerves or jaded it is really sad when a group of senior people in business don’t believe in truth. Or worse, front like they don’t believe in truth because of peer pressure, only to really believe in it, but not say so! If you find truth funny, how can you build an organization on it, how can you build a team on it, or worse, how can you develop and provide services if you are not building on a foundation of truth. Truth and trust are very close allies, if there is a lack of trust then how does a team build commitment, manage conflict or
deliver solutions together.
I thought “truth set you free”. Sounds to me like the people in my meeting last week are not free but bound in a prison of fear, afraid to believe in each other, in truth, or in a cause greater than themselves. If you laugh at truth, how do you raise children in today’s world, how do you lead communities, how do you lead countries. To me the practice of truth is a basic foundational element to the success of any organization. It is something that should be practiced, promoted, shared and encouraged. It is something that needs to be spoken and shown in the lives of the leaders in our organizations and communities. Shown me a leader who runs from the truth and I will show you an organization that is running into peril.
You can decide how you want to operate, you can decide to pursue truth, or like the people I met with last week, you can decide to laugh at truth.
It’s your choice…..