//Don’t be afraid of the truth

Don’t be afraid of the truth

2018-06-21T14:26:15+00:00

If you want your organization to excel in everything it does then you must encourage everyone to be fearless: they must speak up, speak out, and speak the truth - constantly.

Quality & Me

Subir shares short stories about what people do to make a difference everywhere they go. We can make huge contributions to the way we function as a society by standing out as an example within our own community: at work, at our places of worship, among our colleagues, friends, and family. All it takes is the courage to step up and being straightforward, thoughtful, accountable, and resilient.

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Books by Subir

The Power of LEO
The Ice Cream Maker
The Power of Design for Six
The Power of Six Sigma
Organization 21c

Let’s talk about the truth.

If you want your organization to succeed, you must encourage everyone – and I do mean everyone – to not be afraid of speaking up, speaking out, and speaking the truth.

I get that this can be hard, especially when you work in a corporate setting. Not everyone wants to hear the truth, let alone act on it.

Some people just don’t want to face the truth—after all, if you ignore reality, you won’t have to deal with it, right?

Wrong.

Even in the best organizations, politics that inhibit being authentic can permeate the air, stifle productivity, and prevent real and lasting solutions from being found and implemented.

Let me give you an example.

During a client meeting I sat in on, the COO encouraged everyone to speak the truth—to share openly and tell it like it is.

The problem was, no one did. You could hear a pin drop. It was clear they were terrified.

When a few people finally spoke up, they were quickly silenced by others in the room.

The COO continued to encourage people to speak up. He told them it was essential that they support each other, even if a problem affected someone else’s group or department.

It was clear to me as an observer that there was a big game of political maneuvering going on.

People were scared to speak up, speak out, or to tell the truth.

They feared for their jobs.

This company had a culture where people swept problems under the rug, even in front of their bosses, including the COO.

Fear and lying is an all-too common issue in organizations: people are afraid of repercussions, losing their jobs, being embarrassed—you name it. As long as your organization is operating in fear, you will never succeed. In fact, you will fail. Fear is a formula for disaster.

Encourage everyone – and I mean everyone – to be straightforward, to tell the truth, and to not be afraid. Without being straightforward, you can never make a difference.

What do you do with a toothpick?

Think about the last time you picked up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, helped your neighbor without being asked, or thanked a co-worker for critical but necessary feedback. These are all small actions, but again, the sum is more powerful than the individual actions.

Step back so you can move forward

When I need to recharge my batteries, I usually go for a long walk. Sometimes by myself, sometimes with one of my kids. I always end up feeling refreshed and reenergized when I return. It’s critical that you’re passionate about what you do—otherwise, what’s the point? However, there’s a difference between passion and obsession. Let me explain.

Recognizing Quality Innovation

In 2010, the Society of Automotive Engineers along with the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation, established The Subir Chowdhury Medal of Quality Leadership. This award is designed to honor those in the mobility industry who demonstrate ability and talent to further innovation and broaden the impact of "quality" in mobility engineering, design and manufacture.

When has pride pushed you back?

Pride exists at the organizational level and can just as easily become tainted.  Think about it.  How many times have you witnessed senior level executives not acknowledging a problem? The reason?  Pride.  Ego.  They don’t want to admit that there is a problem because of ego:  someone else will think they’re weak, or that they’ll lose face.  To admit your decision was wrong means you are weak, correct?  Absolutely the opposite!