Tell the Truth

Telling the truth has never been more important.

My mom just told me today on the phone a story about a coworker (and friend) who wanted her to lie to her boss. She refused. She just couldn’t lie like that. The friend lost her job, and my mom lost her friend.

The other day at the Catalyst Conference, I heard Seth Godin give this advice to an auditorium of leaders: “Tell the truth.”

The question was: “How do I innovate within a bureaucracy?”

Godin’s summation was that your situation probably isn’t as terrible as you’re making it out to be. You may not have the freedom to do whatever you want to do, but you have the freedom to do something. So, start there. But regardless of what you do, stop lying. Be honest about what is really standing in your way. Is it your boss, or is it fear?

Tell the truth. Isn’t that usually (correction: always) the right answer?

The question may be, “How do I get a husband?” or “How do I find the right job?” or even “How do I market this product?” No matter what, the answer is that honesty and integrity ultimately win.

The same can be said of writing. Write honestly. Write from the heart, your heart. Don’t write with fluff or exaggerate the details to impress your readers. Be honest.

Tell the truth.

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3 Comments on “Tell the Truth”

  1. I just saw an older video of Jason Fried (from 37signals) talk about this. I’ve harped on authenticity before, and I know you have too. But Jason said something about transparency that stuck with me. He’s like, “Transparency? That’s honesty. Monetization? That’s making money. Let’s just get to what these things really mean.”

    I love that. Everyone knows what honesty means. We try to dress it up, make it seem 21st century-ish, because Honest Abe isn’t cool anymore. But really, that’s what it’s all about: just being honest with people, even when it is hard.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  2. Jason says:

    “No matter what, the answer is that honesty and integrity ultimately win.”

    You could have posted only that and the truth would have been resounding. :)


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