As King of Israel, Solomon was best known for his wisdom and his wealth. Drawing from Solomon’s teachings, my friend Pat Williams just released his newest book, The Leadership Wisdom of Solomon.
Pat knows a little something about leadership wisdom. In his position as the Senior Vice President for the Orlando Magic, he has played an integral role in the birth of the team. He is a best-selling author of more than sixty-five books, and a sought-after speaker who inspires people around the world.
When Pat told me about this book, my interest was piqued. I knew I wanted to introduce this book to you, the readers of my blog. Solomon is the epitome of Irrefutable Success. The book is jam packed with 28 essential strategies for leading with integrity.
I’d like to tell you about one of these strategies, from the chapter entitled “Truth, Inc.”
Pat says that leaders need to know the “unedited and undistorted truth.” A leader can have all of the leadership skills in the world, but without truth, the skills will be ineffective. A successful leader must be armed with unfiltered, reliable information if they are to make informed choices.
Leaders who become isolated, or insulated from accurate and timely information can become anemic and insipid. Leaders do not need “yes-men” who try to make the boss happy by ignoring the elephant in the room. As Pat puts it: “The ‘elephant’ is any issue that is so big and scary that people (though aware of it) are afraid to speak about it openly.” What the leader needs is candor and open lines of communication. The leader needs to know about the elephant.
Here is an excerpt from Pat on this subject:
“Some leaders pay lip service to openness and candor, but when push comes to shove, they really don’t take bad news very well. Few leaders enjoy hearing ‘Sir, you made a mistake.’ Or ‘Ma’am, we have a serious problem.’ But the most effective leaders are those who welcome bad news as an opportunity to exercise leadership and solve problems. They care more about doing the right thing than they do about looking good. They derive their sense of satisfaction from the success of the entire organization, not from having their egos stroked.”
Great leaders speak the truth and expect others to do the same. In fact, as Solomon says, “Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.” (Proverbs 16:13)
Are you seeking truth from others? What is currently the biggest “elephant in the room” in your family or organization? Are you ignoring it or addressing it? What will be the consequence if you continue to ignore it?