Lies equal layers. The more lies that are told, the more layers are created between two people.
A guy named Justin left his previous place of employment to go work for a company that promised to groom him to become the next partner at a consulting firm. Justin left his previous employer where he drew a salary on the lower end of six figures with the assurance that once he was made partner he’d be making a near mid-range six figure income. Justin was extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity and couldn’t wait to begin his new career trajectory.
Justin showed up to begin his new job at which time he was introduced to two other proteges that were also promised “partner.” This did not sit well with Justin and made him feel very uncomfortable because he knew the reality of making three additional people partner “next” was very unlikely. It seems as if someone stretched the truth trying to get Justin over to the firm.
As time went on, they did continue to groom him, but all indicators led him to believe other plans were also in the works. Not only had they brought Justin and the two other proteges on, within six months, they also brought additional potential partners on.
It seemed every time Justin turned around another mistruth or lack of transparency was occurring.
After about nine months of this, Justin finally went to talk to the managing partner who had originally promised him the partnership. The managing partner told him that while they did originally have the intention of making him a partner, that after speaking with the other existing partners they thought it would be better to have a larger pool of people to select from.
Well you can imagine Justin’s response and feelings of betrayal. And as a result of that, Justin’s performance suffered and his commitment to the company waned.
How many of us have been in that position?
Spending a lot of time coaching leaders and teams over the last decade, I know this unfortunately happens all too often.
However, I also know this – In today’s corporate climate people are placing a higher value on things like communication, transparency, and trust. This hasn’t always been the case, but that’s the movement that is taking place.
Justin’s leaders thought that what they did was acceptable. They thought that even though they had originally made Justin the promise of partnership, that they were justified in creating a more competitive environment to try and sieve out the best candidate. They thought it was what was best for the company, but did not fully consider what going back on their promise meant to not only their personal integrity, but the integrity of the company as well.
It wasn’t long before Justin left that firm to find a new place of employment that did value things like trust and transparency. And even though this new company didn’t promise him partner, Justin thrived and excelled at his job because of their candidness. Justin thriving was a direct result of feeling comfortable and confident that what was being spoken to him was truthful. This made the difference for Justin and ultimately he became a leader within the company perpetuating the honesty and transparency that was given to him.
Today’s leaders have to consider what it takes to bridge the gap between profits and performance. And since there is a correlation between performance and trusting leadership or management, Leaders beware! – the onus is on you now to create and build that bridge. One simple and easy way to accomplish that – Tell the truth!