In their recent book, Transparency, this trio of authors - each famous in leadership circles in their own right - point out that the higher up the organizational ladder you get, the less likely people are to speak the truth to you. It's not that they lie. They just tell you what they think you want to hear. Speaking truth to power is one of the most difficult things in a hierarchy for large numbers of people.
Bennis, Goleman and O'Toole say you need to apply four key principles in how you lead to ensure transparency - that you and others see the truth of your organization.
Part 2 of a 4 part interview series for the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership's 2006 "Conversation on Leadership: Growing Leaders in a Changing World." Interview lasts two minutes or so and is well edited. If you like this one there are more here if you scroll down for 'related videos' after clicking through
I've been a fan of Warren Bennis since I chaired a workshop of his. What a lovely man. And I like Barbara Kellerman's thinking on what makes a bad leader. This is a long clip - 38 minutes - and the introduction goes on a bit too long. But, if you have the time, sit down with a coffee and maybe a few colleagues who are interested in leadership, over lunch maybe, and look to pull out, say, three learning points to put into action.Barbara Kellerman's microphone doesn't work at first. Give it a minute - Warren Bennis fixes it for her.