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Do They Really Want the Truth? Sharing your views with the leader By John Stoker Many organizations and leaders highly espouse transparency and openness in an attempt to improve their organization’s effectiveness.  Even though this may be part of what an organization portends to support, the question still persists, “Do they really want to know the truth or do they just want to hear what they want to hear?”  Unfortunately, a consultant friend of mine had a poor experience with a leader who said he wanted the truth, but really didn’t. Jill had been hired as an outside consultant to help improve an organization’s systems and processes.  One day during a training class, a senior leader asked Jill if there were any processes that she felt needed the company’s attention.  At first, Jill didn’t answer from her own perspective and suggested that he review the data the company had gathered from recent customer focus group meetings.  The leader let Jill’s answer slide for about an hour and then returned to pressing her for a more candid response.  Finally, under pressure, Jill capitulated and told the senior leader that the company would do well to focus on their accounts payable process. (Bad idea!)  Somewhat surprised, the leader asked why that was an issue for her. Jill responded that waiting 120 days to be paid for work done four months prior wasn’t very responsive. When the senior leader asked what the difficulty was, Jill explained that she was traveling weekly to various company sites around the country to teach a number of process-improvement courses, and with each trip she was accumulating a significant number of expenses associated with each trip. She explained that she could 26 Submit your Articles Personal Excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 11.2014


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