Finding Those Wow-Worthy Moves

truth Jul 21, 2017

“True leadership lies in guiding others to success.” - Bill Owens

In their book titled The Real-Life MBA”, Suzy and Jack Welch boil leadership down to its two essential components – truth and trust.

Based on years of leadership experience, they worked out an organizing principle we can all benefit from using. “Truth-and-trust leadership … is an overarching approach – an organizing principle – that drives everything leaders do every day, whether they are in staff meetings, performance evaluations, strategy sessions or budget reviews, or everything else in between.”

Truth seeking in leadership means being open and honest. It means never settling for suppositions or unsupported claims. Leaders consistently seek truth through the:

  • Strategy Process: They deep-dive into information about their competitors, their market share, and their strengths and weaknesses. This depth of truth seeking is as important for non-profit organizations as it is with for-profit businesses. Once you have the truth about your organization’s place within the market, you can conduct an honest assessment of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. You can look at the real threats you may be facing already, or threats your organization could encounter soon. Using the truth-seeking process to develop strategy lets you find what Jack and Suzy Welch call your “big, wow-worthy, winning move to change or dominate” your space in the marketplace.
  • Performance Assessment Process: The best way for everyone to improve is to have an open and honest conversation. People will appreciate being told where they stand and what they can do to improve. A direct review of performance leads to direct results. That’s because the truth is empowering.
  • Budget Process: A lot can be achieved by removing personal agendas from annual budgeting. An open and honest approach achieves better results.
  • Communication Process: How you communicate affects everything you do in your organization. If all of your communications are deeply truthful, you will be recognized as an inspiring leader. This includes making sure that your people know and understand the purpose of your business or organization, and their role in it. And how does that happen? It happens by constantly sharing your organization’s vision, purpose and mission.

Show that you care about your people and their work. Here’s how:

  • Openly demonstrate excitement about your people and how well your team is doing.
  • Make sure that your actions back up your words.
  • Build a healthy work culture based on values that promote integrity.
  • Be an effective and active listener.
  • Love your employees even as they leave the organization.

Trust isn’t something that you achieve once and forget about. It must be consistently nurtured all of the time. In order to be an effective leader, you need to build and consistently maintain trust and credibility through your words and actions. Here’s how:

  • Be consistently authentic.
  • Support your people even when they are down.
  • Give and celebrate credit where and when it is due. As Coach John Wooden says, “Give all credit away.”

Call to Action
Set time aside this week to:

1. Assess how well your organization consistently seeks truth through:

  • Its strategic process
  • Its performance assessment process
  • Its budget process
  • Its communication process

2. Identify one strategy by which your organization, under your leadership, can enhance its pursuit of trust.

“Leadership should be seen as something we do with other people. Leadership must always be viewed as a relationship between the leader and the led.” - Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones


The best is yet to come. It starts with you.

Your friends,
The UpCloseTeam