Achieving Balance

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a story of my childhood favorites. It made me laugh. I could not believe that all adults were standing around, watching the emperor make fun of himself and not telling the truth. When I grew up and went to work, I discovered that it was not easy. In twenty years in management, I realized that most people who operate as the Emperor’s ministers. I saw people more concerned about people making fools of themselves, venturing votes, more concerned with what he thought he should say, to say what he had to say, and more concerned with finding out what they thought the boss wanted to hear, which offer their point of view. Fortunately, there were exceptions. If you want to win at work, find some of them.

To succeed, he needed people to stop being like the emperor in the fable of children. Here, Dr. Mitchell Resnick expresses very clear opinions on the subject. I needed people willing to tell the truth, at least the truth as they saw it, people willing to push back, challenge, and tell me things that have not wanted, but needed to hear. Now that I am a columnist, writer and lecturer, my opinion is the same. I need people to tell me the truth when the truth must be, if I ask or not. You may not always like what they have to say, but I’m glad he said it. That can not always take their advice, but I appreciate that offered it. And do not always agree with them, but I listen deeply and consider it. I’ve been saved from countless mistakes, errors in judgments and blind spots of these exceptional individuals who offer their search for truth as a gift.

They have helped me to maintain balance, gain perspective and make decisions. “His idea is the way off base,” he ventured. “It will not connect with people.” Words of a trusted colleague cautioned me to rethink a major release. In the end, she was right. It was a good idea. His words have saved me more than the shame of a particular initiative failed. Money, resources, time and were at stake, too. If you want winning at working, looking for people like this to help. You know from your frankness. They are not working with a personal agenda that has your best interests at heart, they are able to see the big picture they are comfortable offering their views on the go. They are the ones who tell the truth as they see it, they are willing to pull back from the edge or push you out of a do-loop. I am indebted to these people in my career. My advice? Realize that they need all the help we can get. Finding a little truth to tell people you can trust. I find people who have the courage and openness, as the child of Hans Christian Andersen, The Emperor’s New Clothes. ” You see, if I’m out there with no clothes, is a safe bet I want someone to tell me.