Candor is Not Enough — Leadership Whispers

Dieter Rams Braun Lectron Radio 1967

“Be candid! Be honest! Yay, #teamwork !”

Being “radically candid/brutally honest” isn’t instinctive because of the fear of losing relationships, the uncomfortableness of honest conversations, or any other fears for self-preservation.

To tackle this, first consider these two beliefs you might lead your teams with:

“We are radically honest with each other.”

“We are radically candid with each other.”

Candor and honesty feel different. As Ed Catmull of Pixar said succinctly, “Nobody thinks that being less than candid makes you a bad person (while no one wants to be called dishonest).”

Next, just being candid does not make your team group-hug. “Your legs are as thick as tree trunks.” doesn’t make someone eat more healthily.

“He should know where I am coming from” or “It’s his issue to not being able to handle it” are signs of our laziness and or incompetence. Just being candid isn’t the work.

If candor is one radio dial we use to find the frequencies of great teamwork, there is another dial next to it: The “give a 💩” dial: Give a 💩 about how your teammates feel, relate, embrace, and neglect your candor.

Toggle both dials, and fine-tune maniacally. That’s the work.

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