A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

But, Sir!

Speaking truth to power is perhaps the oldest and, certainly, one of the most difficult of ethical challenges because to do so entails personal danger.

James O’ Toole


I had the pleasure of spending the whole day with my mentor a couple of weeks ago; I consider myself truly blessed because he comes up from Juneau from time to time just to spend the day visiting and catching up with me.

There is always something on his mind and this trip, it was “Speaking Truth to Power.”Slide1

He didn’t go all philosophical on me, although I encourage you to read up on “Speaking Truth to Power” and challenge yourself to the mental objectives that lie within.

Instead, we simply discussed the risks of speaking our minds in the context of work, and we talked about our successes and failures accordingly.


“But, Sir”


As an employee, what may those words suggest?

They suggest you have another thought.

They suggest you have the courage to share it.

They suggest you believe your boss should reconsider.

They suggest you want him to take pause in his actions.


“But, Sir”


As a leader, what may those words suggest?

They suggest your staff desires to be heard.

They suggest your staff is fearful of what is coming next.

They suggest your staff know something you may not.

They suggest your staff is trying to protect you.


As an employee, when was the last time you demonstrated the courage to disagree?

As a leader, when was the last time you thanked your employee for doing so?


CommunicationsCourageEmployee EngagementEmployee RelationsGood FaithHuman ResourcesLeadershipMentoringPerformance ManagementProfessionalismRole of HRSHRMSpeaking Truth To PowerWorkforce Satisfaction

Heather Kinzie • July 11, 2014

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