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“Yes, leadership is about vision. But, leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted.”

Jim Collins, Good to Great

This quote from Jim Collins represents a new dimension to leadership. While vision has always been the “lead” in leader, we must also consider the environment we create. Not only a place where your people can deliver their best, but also a place where the brutal truth can be confronted and the reality of the situation, information or personalities can be addressed. These are often very difficult conversations to have but to escape the clutches of “good” and race into the arms of “great,” it’s these brutally truthful moments that we must navigate.

For this to happen, the environment must contain the key characteristic of safety. Safety doesn’t mean that people don’t raise their voices or get upset. It means that people can raise their voice and get upset in debate and discussion of the truth of a situation, without fear of consequences. This is the real challenge of leadership. Vision is easy. Creating a safe place to face the truth is hard. Vision resides somewhere in the blue sky and open air where people are energized and excited. Brutal truth resides in the slop and dirt that most of us avoid at all costs. However, it’s in this messy place where answers are found and new courses are chartered for failed plans. It’s the place where trust, loyalty and commitment are created and were a servant spends his time.

What brutal truth about your leadership situation needs to be addressed?

What steps will you take to create a safe place to deal with that truth?

Jeff Harmon

Jeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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