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December 7, 2004

Excerpts: Herb's Hints - Part IV

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 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.