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The Bottom Line Can Never Be the Bottom Line

People who can’t say they don’t know can’t be trusted; they’re posturing. They’ll tell you what you want to hear rather than what they really think.

Fear drives lies. Fear of losing status, respect, or position motivates truth-shading. Don’t trust those who are always right; that includes excuse makers, blamers, and finger pointers.

Don’t trust anyone who expects you to always be right, either.

Care for posers but don’t trust them.

Three Fears:

I recently finished reading Lencioni’s book, “Getting Naked.” Pat says three fears prevent you from building trust and loyalty.

  1. Fear of losing the business.
  2. Fear of being embarrassed.
  3. Fear of feeling inferior.

Fear of losing business motivates you to put revenue first. Clients shouldn’t trust anyone who puts revenue first. The bottom line can never be the bottom line.

“What clients want more than anything is to know that we’re more interested in helping them than we are in maintaining our revenue source,” Lencioni.

When you’re willing to walk away, you can be let in. When you’re willing to say the hard things, you can be heard.

There’s a difference between fearing and liking. No one likes losing business. Few like saying what doesn’t want to be heard. I’m not talking about like. I’m talking about not letting fear motivate you.

Overcoming fear:

  1. Accept yourself. Pretending to know more than you know is stressful and self-destructive.
  2. Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen.” (That doesn’t always help.)
  3. Practice vulnerability. Vulnerability is central to Lencioni’s book, “Getting Naked.”
  4. Love others. Barclay defined love as, “Seeking another’s highest good.” Love trumps fear.

Honesty tip:

You can acknowledge you don’t know but demonstrate you can learn. It’s not necessary to make yourself look as dumb as possible. Passion to learn beats needing to knowing it all.

How can leaders overcome fear in order to build trust and loyalty?


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