The Ayes Have It

May 14th, 2013  | 

Published in Leadership

Three weeks ago, I was speaking to a group of executives in Vancouver BC.

I shared a cartoon I’ve had for some time that shows the senior executive of a leadership team calling for a vote on an issue, saying, “All those in favor, say ‘Aye.’”

The five leaders all respond with smiles and say “Aye,” but the thought clouds above each of their heads tell a different story: “I can’t believe it!” “Say it ain’t so!” “You’ve got to be kidding!” “No. No. A thousand times no!” “Heaven forbid!”

Upon seeing this cartoon, a female executive said, “You’ve just described my organization.”

An organization where trust is present does not mean absence of conflict. In fact, healthy conflict occurs only where people know it’s safe to tell the truth.

What’s it like to speak truth to power in your organization?

About the Author: Greg Bustin is an executive coach, consultant and speaker who has delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. Greg advises leaders at some of the world’s most admired companies, and his views about leadership have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, Leader to Leader, and other major publications. He’s written five leadership books. His newest book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices (Sourcebooks), examines decision-making in history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. How Leaders Decide


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