Absolute honesty

Six laws to promote a corporate culture of integrity.

by: Kelly Schmidt

Truer words have never been spoken…

“Raise your hand if you have taught your children not to lie,” Larry Johnson asked the audience at CUES’ Directors Conference this week. Over 400 hands reached for the sky.

“Raise your hand if you have ever told a lie,” followed up Johnson, co-author of Absolute Honesty: Building a Corporate Culture That Values Straight Talk and Rewards Integrity. Again, over 400 arms went into the air.

So, where is the disconnect? How can we say one thing, but practice the complete opposite? More importantly, how can we build a corporate culture that values straight talk and rewards integrity when we are all less than stellar at always telling the truth?

At Directors Conference, Johnson presented “Six Laws of Absolute Honesty.”

Law #1: Tell the truth.

We know everyone tells white lies from time to time. The problem is, individuals have different opinions about when the total truth should be told. When Johnson asked the audience, “What is your criteria for not telling a white lie?” several answers came back, including:

  1. if the consequence is worse than the lie
  2. if it is for something illegal, immoral or unethical
  3. if the lie is unfair to others
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