February 19th, 2013

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


I suspect many, if not all of us, have been in a position where we have “hedged” a little.  What I mean by that is we fail to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”  I am a big fan of Perry Mason.  I love watching the old Black & White TV series.  Of course, Perry always gets his man/woman.  One of the things he was good at was picking apart a witness who may have not told the whole truth.

As a leader, it is easy to hedge sometimes.

Full disclosure of financial dealings is not forthcoming. 

Full disclosure of travel expenses are not forthcoming. 

Full disclosure of office proceedings are not forthcoming.

Full disclosure of deals made behind others’ backs is not forthcoming. 

As a pastor, it is easy to hedge sometimes:

Time spent in “play” is not forthcoming.

So-called study (i.e. borrowing sermons from the internet) is not forthcoming.

Staff performances are not evaluated honestly. 

In my “team” discussion of Love Works with Jon “Stretched” Stolpe, today’s focus is on trust.  In fact, Jon has been blogging the whole week on that topic.  I encourage you to check out his blog for each day.

It has been my experience over the years that trust is key to any organization- any relationship for that matter- to thrive.  Take away trust and what do you have?  Suspicion.  Mistrust.  Lies.  Discontent. Backbiting. In fact, the whole environment changes.  Take, for example, an executive who lies about finances.  How will the others feel about his trustworthiness?  Or a pastor who lies about his study habits.  How will the leadership be able to trust him on other matters? Or a teenager who lies to his/her parents.  How many times has it been said once trust is eroded it takes awhile to rebuild it?  The examples can go on and on.

Leading with love means caring enough to be truthful in all things.  When talking about self. When talking about the organization.  When talking about each other.  Speaking the truth isn’t always easy, but it is essential.  For example, one of the first steps for an addict to get the help they need is to admit they have a problem.  Truthfulness.

Keep in mind that truthfulness goes both ways.  You may be a truthful person (“I tell it like it is”).  But it is also equally important to find someone who will be honest with you, and with whom you will allow complete honesty.  Truthful feedback.  I know pastors need them.  I have two other pastors I feel confident I can go to and know they will shoot straight with me.  But it is also important to be able to handle the truth.  Give and take.

Check out Jon’s post about this week’s subject on truth.  Meanwhile, what do you think?  Do you feel you are a truthful person?  Can you handle the truth?