Getting Back to The Pursuit of Truth
It has been a while since we spent some time exploring one of our core leadership concepts that always need more attention: The Pursuit of Truth. I was reminded of that when reading a recent column on Inc. about three common leadership blind spots.
Great Leaders Pursue Truth
The third blind spot dealt with a leader’s humility. Arrogant leaders cannot create a work environment that fosters a true Pursuit of Truth collective mindset. You have to create an environment that encourages honest sharing of ideas, events, concerns, conflicts. A “my way is best” or “my decisions are final” behavior pattern will get in the way of that.
The author offers this thought:
“Give them permission to be honest and transparent because effective leadership is all about remaining a student — and that requires a humble heart and a strong desire to see people become all that they were created to be.”
The idea that a leader never stops learning while “remaining a student” underpins the Pursuit of Truth. You are a leader of people, not an owner of knowledge or manager of process. You need to create an environment in which your people can thrive, pursue knowledge and new solutions, and take risks, to achieve your organizational mission.
What does Pursuit of Truth look like in action?
Words like honesty, openness, frankness, and permission come to mind. By “truth” we do not only mean seeking the right answer to a question or refraining from shooting the messenger when bad news arrives. It is bigger than that. It encompasses a cultural foundation in which people work together to create a workplace that values honest sharing of ideas and concerns. It encourages and values challenges to the status quo without judgment or “turfiness.”
Honesty is sought in all dealings, and transparency in parallel to it. The fear of repercussion is banished when pushing against organizational or marketplace boundaries, when challenging current policy or procedure or when seeking to resolve interpersonal conflict.
The truth is also never owned by anyone; it is shared collaboratively. The old idea that “knowledge is power” and should be closed guarded and shared sparingly must also be banished with repercussion! In the Pursuit of Truth mindset, sharing of knowledge is acknowledged and praised as the gold standard.
Foundations of Leadership Excellence
As people who have worked with us for any stretch of time remember, the Pursuit of Truth works hand-in-glove with the two other legs of our leadership triangle: Communication that Counts and Unshakable Trust. A leader who can internalize the tenets built into this Foundation of Excellence structure can change his or her own leadership behavior and then transform the behavior sets of the team. This will unleash pent-up energy and creativity, leading to a measurable jump in productivity (in a very short period of time.)
Soon other groups that work with yours will start asking what your “secret sauce” is!
Questions? For more about the Pursuit of Truth and our Foundations of Leadership Excellence philosophy, contact Brooke or Dave. They have the honest answers you may be seeking!