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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Trust, the shaping tools of the Leaders-followers Link, May 31, 2008
This review is from: Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor (Hardcover)
This book takes on the difficult task of explaining the links between the reality- truth of a situation, cohesiveness of a group to accept truth, the abilities of leadership to embrace candor, and the perceptions of followers to create a culture of trust. A well researched book and a good read for indicating how the culture of being open in a group must be created and maintained. After all, trust and truth are the building tools in any relationship.

To that aim, the writers attempt to explain how in a mini-second that a conflict of differing views arises either from within or outside the leader-follower structure, must be dealt with promptly. It outlines as a test of leadership why and how certain strategies and tools should be considered. Lying, denying to confessing are some options leaders have used in the past. But how should one as a leader deal with the unvarnished truth is the question? Above all, the emotional feeling of trust must be maintained or the leader-follower relationship is damaged.

This book gives examples how leaders (in business, and in government) need to create a culture of candor amongst their followers. The old saw that good and honest managers are the last to know when there is a serious problem, is regrettably too accurate. Yet, the bad managers or deniers of the truth are the first to know as they often created the problem. When humans make an error, the key personal questions of ethics and integrity facing all members in a group are... should they tell others about it or cover it up? Why should they?... as generally there are no emotional or financial guerdons in telling the truth. Unfortunately most culture in organizations allow the creators of a problem either to deny it existence or to downplay its importance. Few humans have the abilities or courage to openly admit to making errors and that is the rub. Thus, an organization must design such fail safe system.

In the final analyis, this book is about leadership and controlling one's emotions within a group. Foremost,as a preventer to open and trusting group collaboration,it is the negative emotional reactions of leaders when they encounter criticism. First, most leaders' egoes do not allow them to easily embrace an unflattering truth or admit to an error in judgement. Also many view candor as expression of the disloyal. Strange as research indicates that followers of fallen leaders will trust them again if the leader admits freely that there was an error in judgement. One of the behaviors that create intergroup conflicts is how leaders often indicate by words and action over time that loyalty at any price is better than a grain of truth.

Second, in most cases,there is an emotional tendency for leaders to view messengers carrying such truth as foes and to negatively over-react when hearing any bad news. Thereby creating interpersonal conflict of either rage, fear, anger, delusion, expressed in an emotional list of reactions (Is he/she one of us or one of them? What is he trying to say now? Can't they keep their mouth shut?)- followed by a destructive behavior of concealment. These are uniquely human traits that leaders must learn to control I discovered in my years doing applied management research as a consultant and teaching leadership as a professor of organizational psychology. This book attempts to deal with those human traits and is highly recommended, just for that reason alone.Dr. Errol D. Alexander
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Initial post: Nov 3, 2011 1:11:42 PM PDT
This book is interesting because it explores can foster transparency. Other books such as U.N. a Cosa Nostra describe how and when transparency does not happen and why. Two different perspectives on the same crucial issue to make sure that public money is used well and does not end up in the pockets of a lucky undeserving fews.
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