The Refreshing Power of Honesty



In my work, I spend a lot of time with managers and leaders of organizations.

There’s an archetype that a lot of managers and leaders take on at work:

The Superhero.

There’s a lot that goes along with taking on the role of the superhero:

  • They think they have to be invincible.
  • They have to be on top of everything.
  • They can’t ever make mistakes.
  • They have to be perfect.
  • They have to have all the answers that their team might have.

It’s a big burden.

It creates a lot of stress.

It also has a big down side:  it’s not authentic.

When we try to be perfect, we don’t acknowledge mistakes.

Anything we do that is less than perfect gets brushed under the rug.

Our followers sniff this out.  If we’re not real with them, it creates distance, and lack of connection.

They don’t need us to be superheroes.  They want us to be people.

Last week, I was following up with a client about something.

They had promised to send me something the week earlier, and they hadn’t done it.

After I sent a friendly followup email, I got back this reply:

Dear Alain,

I’m sorry about the delay.  Just forgot!   Attached is the info you requested.


Kathy’s “Just forgot!” was refreshing in its honesty.

We both knew that the deadline had been missed.

There was no finger pointing, no blame, no story, no excuse making.

I appreciated that.

Now, it helps that Kathy is generally on top of things.  Her “just forgot!” might not be so refreshing if a lack of accountability was the norm, rather than an outlying exception.

Where could you cut through the stories, and get to your “Just forgot”?


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