Executives are always looking for the right traits and a myriad of business skills in their leadership team members. Those traits include the likes of resilience, empathy, grit, authenticity, and emotional intelligence… the list can be long. However, you may be missing two critical traits on your executive team that can be the difference to your long-term success: lie slaying and soothsaying.
Lie Slayer: Someone exceptionally skilled at exposing lies and falsehoods.
A person who effectively counters and uncovers dishonest statements or misinformation, aiming to reveal the truth and promote accuracy. One who can easily discern the need for change in past practices and traditions that no longer hold true.
Soothsayer: Someone who is honest, sincere, and committed to presenting the facts without distortion, exaggeration, or deception, especially when it goes against conventional wisdom or social norms.
One who presents the truth in a way that helps others to see a clear path to the future.
The people who live these traits care more about making things better than making people happy. They have the ability to separate needed change with the need to protect someone’s pride or past accomplishments. They can bring an unbiased view to the ever-changing needs of the company.
For both of these skills to flourish in your organization, it will require you, as a leader, to foster a culture where truth is celebrated more than the comfort of current practices or traditions. A culture where it is normal to call your own processes, services, and products ugly. If truth is suppressed or worse, attacked to protect past decisions or current leaders, these critical traits and abilities will quickly become non-existent within any organization.
What can an executive do if they find themselves without these traits on their team? Where can they turn when they find out their newly acquired executive team believes in a culture where the most important thing is to protect the status quo?
This might be the perfect time to bring in an outside partner.
Your consultant can play the roles of both lie-slayer and soothsayer. As an unbiased third-party lie-slayer, they can help you identify the needed change in your processes, communication, or practices that your teams are unwilling to address or are overlooking. As a soothsayer, they can bring industry knowledge, technology, practices, and market trends from outside the walls of your company, to help you create a strategy to ensure future success. Your consulting partner can help you not only accelerate the change needed urgently, but also come alongside you in coaching, training, and developing these skills in your own team for the long haul.
When it comes to your future success, make sure you have people on your team, or a partner you trust, who excel in lie-slaying or soothsaying. Cleaning up the past and seeing the future clearly are both critical to creating sustainable growth and lasting transformation.
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About the Author: Alan Duncan
Alan is a writer, speaker and coach who has a passion for developing leaders. He founded the TableRoc Group, and partnered with Aperion, on the belief that all leaders and businesses have an obligation to continually grow their abilities to serve, making real impact in their families, the businesses they run and the communities they live in.
With over 20 years of senior leadership roles with Fortune 200 companies the likes of RR Donnelley and Marmon Group/Berkshire Hathaway, Alan shares his boots-on-the-ground experience in the areas of strategy creation and execution, operational excellence, leadership development and coaching, organization transition and negotiation strategies with today’s leaders and businesses.