Sunday, May 11, 2008

Be Straight at All Times and Speak the Truth

Rule 97

“I have found the being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.”
Lee Iacocca, President of Ford and of Chrysler

The rule follows right on from the previous Rule. Obviously if you think your boss is an idiot you don’t go and tell them - that’s taking honesty just a shade too far. But don’t lie, or cheat, or steal, or abuse, or defraud, or take advantage, or con, or trick, or swindle, or hinder, or worsen.

As a manager you have been given a privileged position – one of trust and honour. You are responsible for human lives – no, really, real human lives. You screw up and people get hurt. When they go home after working for you all day they carry on living and breathing, feeling and loving, hurting and dreaming and hoping. You upset them or offend them or abuse them or lie to them and they take that home and it affects their close family and friends and relatives. You must speak truth to them at all times. If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing, but don’t lie.

Don’t lie your bosses. They don’t employ you to do that. They employ you to be straight and to tell the truth. If you’re not going to make your figures, don’t fudge the issue – tell them. They can then take measures to help you or take action because your not making your figures might have knock-on effects. They might be let down but they will be grateful for the warning. Better to know, than to hope and be disappointed.

Don’t lie to customers. Obviously in all this there is measure for artistic truth telling. If a customer asks if your products are superior to your competitors you don’t have to lie because they are – or you’d be working for the competition, wouldn’t you? But if they ask if certain products have been successful and they haven’t you are entitled to creative truth telling. Say, ‘We have been somewhat surprised by sales so far but there is always room for improvement’, rather than. ‘These really bombed but we’re hoping you’ll take a load off our hands’.

“Managing Yourself
The rules of Management by Richard Templar”
Photo by Microsoft

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