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Stefan Kazakis on 9 March 2019

It's time to revisit one of my favourite concepts. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: brutal truth must be a core value of your business.

Brutal truth is a non-negotiable when building a top-tier organisation. It must be at the heart of everything you do, and as a leader in your business it must start with you.

It applies to your purpose, your team, your plan, your scoreboard. Everything.

This may sound tough, but this is actually as simple as it gets:

  • Am I being open and honest in everything I do, both with myself and others?
  • Am I making decisions based on the facts in front of me, or am I making them based on what I hope is going to happen?
  • Am I using my plan to drive my decisions every day, or am I closing my eyes when I see something I don’t like?
  • Am I motivated by truth or by fear?

Many business owners struggle with brutal truth. I see it all the time. The plan is good but they don’t stick to it when things become hard. A team member is not working out, but they give them another month to ‘get their act together’ – after three months of doing the same thing.

But there’s no room for, ‘Hey, we only missed our goal by $6,000 – that’s close enough. Let’s say we made it’. That’s not going to turn you or your business into a Productivity Diamond.

Why do people struggle so much with brutal truth?

Because it can be difficult.

If something is not working, it can be easier to cross your fingers, hope for the best, and give it another week, or month, or year.

If you were close to reaching a goal, it can be easier to say close enough, and move on, rather than looking at why you fell short. But falling short is falling short, no matter how close you came.

I’m not here to tell you it’s easy. Think about this carefully. Having a brutal truth approach to your business is so important because it is difficult.

If it were easy, everybody would do it. There would be no advantage in it. The top 1% of businesses in every industry hold their lofty positions not because they do what’s easy but because they do what’s hard.

They do the vital things that their competitors simply don’t. In business, everybody does the easy things. That’s the bare minimum to keep the doors open. Doing the hard stuff – that’s where the gold is.

Brutal truth is especially important when it comes to managing and building your team. This is an area where I see people have trouble all the time.

The reason this can be such a difficult area is even business leaders can have trouble being honest with other people in the business. If somebody simply isn’t measuring up, it’s no fun to have to confront them about it, especially if it’s somebody you have a friendship with.

Not everything at work will be fun. I love what I do every day and have a fantastic team around me, and sometimes we have a great time. But there are parts of my job as a business leader that simply aren’t going to be fun – hey, that’s why they call it work!

Power to you this week!

Stefan Kazakis

Founder, CEO - Business Benchmark Group


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