Never Underestimate the Value of Telling the Truth with AJ Sue, Ep #22
40 min

As a leader, you have an incredible power to steer your organization and equip emerging leaders but did you know that one of the most important tools you have is telling the truth?

Your position affords you a unique power to build up or tear down. You’ve likely seen leaders throughout your career who have wielded their power in positive ways and negative ones.

Imagine what it would look like in your organization if truth-telling became the norm. A culture built on embracing the truth has the potential to become unstoppable.

Why telling the truth matters

There are emerging leaders in your organization who are just waiting for the right moment to shine. As you likely know, those moments don’t materialize out of thin air; they have to be created.

Don’t underestimate the power you can have to shape the course of a young leader’s career by sitting them down and telling them the truth about their performance and behaviour. Lying or avoiding the truth only ends up hurting the young leader, the organization, and your credibility.

Remember, you set the tone from the top. If you want to see your workplace thrive, you’ve got to be willing to model a total commitment to telling the truth even when it’s uncomfortable.

A good leader creates pathways of opportunity

Did you ever have a moment in your career when your supervisor took the time to invest in your professional development? As an organization grows larger, complexity often comes along for the ride.

In many businesses today, leaders are often siloed and isolated from other leaders in their organization. What sets a good leader apart from the rest is a willingness to reach across these divides to network on behalf of their subordinates.

If you have an emerging leader under you who has a significant amount of potential but wants to pursue their talents in another aspect of your organization, why not go to bat for them? When you take the time to create pathways of opportunity for your people, your effectiveness will only increase.

Seek common ground

One of the best benefits of telling the truth in your organization is that it allows everyone to see what cards they are holding. When you go around wearing masks and striving to “Fake it until you make it” no one benefits.

Instead, try challenging your people to find common ground. Let’s break out of the old divisions between Millenials and Boomers or other factors that divide us and focus on what brings us together.

At the end of the day, most people want the same things. They want to be valued, respected, and fulfilled. Truth-telling is crucial to getting past the facade and getting everyone on the same page.

You don’t have to be an expert

As a general rule, people are risk-averse. Sure there is the oddball that loves to stir things up and break out of the norm, but that is not how most people behave.

Due to this seemingly inherent risk-aversion, most people won’t take a chance and try something new; the old way is just fine. That type of thinking can cripple an organization!

Let’s reject that type of thinking and embrace a better mindset. The truth is, you don’t have to be completely proficient or an expert at something before you jump in. While that might sound like a simple statement, most people function that way!

If all this talk about building a culture of truth-telling is intimidating, don’t worry - you aren’t alone. Changing the culture of your organization won’t happen overnight, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:08] I introduce my guest, AJ Sue and his five beliefs.
  • [3:30] AJ’s opens up about his purpose and fulfilment.
  • [4:50] What does a mutually meaningful work engagement look like according to AJ?
  • [6:30] A life-changing moment early in AJ’s career.
  • [11:50] AJ talks about what was it like as a “Testing guy.”
  • [17:30] You can’t be great until you do something that you love.
  • [23:00] Networking with leaders across the organization.
  • [27:20] The primary limiting belief that most people hold.
  • [30:45] You don’t have to be an expert to just try something new.
  • [32:40] Three takeaways you can walk away with today.
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