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The biggest thing missing in modern leadership is honesty

It’s no longer shocking when a politician lies – in fact, we expect it. At this point many of us assume our politicians are lying most of the time.

Virtually all big CEOs hire slick PR people whose job is simply to spin corporate doublespeak.

Even the young idealistic leaders, my favorite type, are worried that if they get too vocal about wanting to build a better world, people will assume they are overly innocent and will never follow them.

We are so worried that we are going to offend people and we are so worried that people will not take us seriously, that we fail to fully express ourselves. Instead of being honest we explain half of what we believe, spend too much time looking for consensus (which only brings us to the lowest common denominator), and we hold back.

Let’s stop that now.

Let’s take our leadership to a higher level by getting really honest about our perspective and who we are.

I’ll start:

  • I think there is something seriously wrong with our society. We have tons of homeless people and every other week there is a story about a mass shooting. We need to shine a bright light on ourselves and get down to fixing this.
  • I think that it’s shallow to dream of making tons of money and surrounding yourself with expensive material possessions. I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with making money, but if your dream starts and stops with affluence, I really think you’re doing it wrong. Resources should be shared and distributed, not hoarded.

A lot of those ideas are ideas that I usually sugar coat. But each time I fail to express myself honestly, I’m failing as a leader. And if you’re not being honest with yourself, your peers, and your tribe you’re failing as a leader too.

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