As a leader if you’ve waiting for everyone else to start modelling candour and authenticity, it might be a while. Our jobs as leaders is to model the behaviours we’d like to see demonstrated by our boss, our direct reports, and our peers.
Being candid and authentic means taking a risk to say what’s true for you, even though your opinion may not match up with the rest of the people in the room. This takes courage. There’s a great line in the movie We Three Kings, that demonstrates this: George Clooney says, “courage isn’t what you need, courage is what you get as a result of taking a risk.” This applies 100% to candour.
Here’s what I’ve seen when teams try out candour as a new behaviour particularly during strategic planning experiences:
- people respond by saying, “wow, I was thinking something similar but didn’t have the guts to say it out loud.”
- other people respond to candour with comments like, “I’m so glad you had the courage to say that. I didn’t realize a lot of the facts you brought up and how passionate you are about them.”
- teams finally talk about the “real stuff” that’s going on
- the strategic plan ends up being far more engaging and the level of alignment around the plan just up
- there’s an increase in ideological conflict as more conflicting ideas on what’s right for the company/organization/team come to light (a very good thing)
- peoples true passions and excitement come alive around the key issues, opportunities, and challenges, your team is facing
If any of these sound like outcomes you’re looking for then the next step is to take a risk, experience your courage, and demonstrate to your team that you are willing to be authentic, candid, and say what’s true for you.
What’s your experience been around candour?