The Success Formula - Part 4

In part 4 of The Success Formula, we will look at Honesty.

Honesty should be everybody’s constant core value, but unfortunately it seldom is. Honesty is the bond between Respect and Trust, and when that bond brakes the whole foundation that success rest upon tumbles.

Honesty is the guardrail and an essential quality of clear communication. By being honest both to ourselves and others we show integrity. By being honest we play by the rules and we do not try to taint or mislead in any way. Sometimes honesty hurts, but at the end of the day it’s the only way to go.

In his book Good To Great, Jim Collins concludes that the Great companies by “confronting the brutal facts” are brutally honest with themselves. They do not let personal investments in ideas or past practice get in the way of reality. They create what Collins calls, “a climate of truth”. But at the same time they have an unwavering faith that they can succeed.

In Good To Great, Jim Collins also lists four basic practices in creating a climate where truth is heard:

  1. Lead with questions not answers.
  2. Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion.
  3. Conduct autopsies, without blame.
  4. Build red flag mechanisms that turn information into information that cannot be ignored.

Unfortunately though, the same does not hold true for mediocre companies.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” [Sir Walter Scott]

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.” [Thomas Jefferson]

Honesty must be more than a policy, it must really be one of your constant core values.