As of late, there seems to be a propensity of people in the news who have been caught misrepresenting the truth. Newscasters that claim they were places they were not. Countries that purposefully represent the facts wrong. Maybe even a politician or two that may have bent the facts? (Ok, I just made that last one up.)
You can call it exaggerating, bending the truth, telling a story, fibbing, a little white lie, interpreting the facts differently or whatever works for you. However, there is a word found in Webster’s Dictionary that describes these actions. It’s called “lying” and its definition is: marked by or containing falsehoods.
One of the things we value in business is integrity. Integrity is a complex value made up of many components. However, it has some simple basic foundational bricks – one of which is honesty. In other words, we value “not lying”. We tell the truth without editorializing and let the facts speak for themselves.
We value the truth because:
- It is the only way we can trust each other in our quest for best in class performance.
- Lies ”dismember and maim” a team member’s character and their relevance.
- Working with lies is a waste of time and energy.
- “Defending our honor” takes time away from doing real work.
- We build things that if not built correctly, people can get hurt.
The world around us is complex. Sometimes we see events differently. Sometimes things turn in an instant. Sometimes we make honest mistakes. Sometimes communication is unclear. It happens. And when it does, we need to come back to the table with the facts and sort it out even if it may cost us a short-term loss of face for a long-term wall of trust. We are building a lifetime of integrity one day at a time.
And in that light, we must always, like Joe Friday, tell the truth and stick to “…just the facts…”