December 7, 2004

Excerpts: Herb's Hints - Part IV

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:50 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

2: Tell It Like It Is, Even if It Hurts
Good executives tell it like it is. They know that transparency can hurt, and theyre not afraid of the discomfort that sometimes comes along with it. Theyve got courage, and they understand that great things can only be achieved through honesty, openness, and with ethics.
This rule is simple. If you made a mistake or you think youve gone in the wrong direction, admit itand sleep better at night. This is as easy as it sounds, though it isnt for the weak of heart. The ability to fess up is a trait that every great, transparent leader possesses. Its harder to tell it like it is than it is to avoid the truth, but even when you avoid the truth, youre not fooling as many people as you think.
Pete Rose avoided the truth for a lot of years by denying that he had ever bet on baseball. But how many people really believed that he hadnt? All signs pointed in that direction, and in the end, after many years of denial, and an undoubtedly tumultuous internal struggle, he finally admitted the truth. He had bet on baseball, and he had lied about it for years. He finally came clean, but by then it was too late. He should have fessed up sooner.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.