Nothing Leads Like The Truth

by | Feb 28, 2013

This post appeared in Frontline Festival. A blog carnival full of wisdom and oozing practical leadership advice on leading frontline team members. Check it out. Frontline Festival

Every player on a NFL football team towers in size over the Referees.  But these “little” guys with their little yellow flags and little toy whistles have complete authority.


The players choose to give them authority.

99% of the time, the Referee sees and knows the truth because of their position in the game and knowledge of the rules.

As leaders, we should be asking for the authority to lead and then watch for and share the truth constantly.

Nothing moves people more effectively then truth. (I’m blushing, but sure..you can tweet that)


Courtesy of Brit_2 via @Flickr

Courtesy of Brit_2 via @Flickr


I train 30 college students every summer to be leaders at camp.

We spend the first 24 hours of training on one thing:


Build a bridge strong enough to bear the weight of truth..



  • Hire character over anything else. People with character tell the truth.
  • Model well, more is caught than is taught.
  • Train both sides of leadership.  Following well is part of the equation.  Don’t just teach leadership, teach following.  People need to learn how to tell the truth well and how to hear the truth with integrity.
  • Train your staff to take conversation the last 10%. Many leaders walk away from conversations thinking, “What I should have said was….”  If it’s not mean spirited, but is truth meant to build the bridge, say it!

?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have? Please Comment


  • Always tell the truth.
  • Remember training never ends. Keep the mindset of facilitator, coach, mentor, leader..whatever it takes to keep from thinking of yourself as supervisor, boss, in-charge, etc.
  • Get to know each persons Language of Appreciation in the Workplace and learn to speak these languages. I have found nothing that builds trust and strengthens relationship better. (affiliate link)
  • Spend time eating a meal with your team with no “shop talk” allowed. If you can, cook the meal together. This builds relationships
  • MBWA Manage By Walking Around.  Let your team see you doing your job, takes the mystery out of it.  It will be easier to trust you.
  • Don’t allow or participate in Gossip, ever.

?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have? Please Comment 


  • Resolve with a pre-decision to never lie, no matter what.
  • Write a mission statement for your leadership.
  • Write a letter to your team with goals and promises about your leadership. Imagine you will give it to them on their last day on your team.  Then, develop a plan to achieve the goals and meet the promises you make.
  • Read The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
  • Find a mentor.

What variations or alterations would you suggest? Please Comment


Thanks For Reading