“People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.” Lewis Rothschild – “The American President”
The value of straight talk is unparalleled. I know people who want to look savvy, and they come of as cagey; people who want to look powerful, and the silence is deafening. Nothing is motivating about being coy with your vision and your plan for the business or for your people.
With that said, it’s not necessary to “open the kimono” about all matters, especially stressful ones. If you’re a manager or a leader, you have to deal with a number of stressful issues daily. Odds are, you’re calibrated emotionally and psychologically to handle these stresses, and telling everyone the world’s problems is a fast way to create alarm and cause undue harm.
So there is a balance – people need to know what is going on, and where they stand, and they need to know that you are thinking about these two things all the time. It’s the fruit of wisdom to know what to say and when to say it.