Truth-Tellers, Part 3: Are You Truthful … With Yourself?

Welcome to Part 3 of Truth-Tellers.

In the last segment, I wrapped up by telling you that by this third Truth-Teller session I’d reveal why most organizations fail, even when they have plenty of Truth-Tellers.

Reason #1: In far too many cases, the decision makers, in failing organizations, do not act on the brutal honesty they receive from their Truth-Tellers.

Reason #2: And … this one is the toughest to reconcile, as it challenges every single one of us; we’re not truthful with ourselves!

Force-Field Analysis and Truthfulness

For me, leaving The Walt Disney Company was an incredibly difficult decision. I loved my colleagues, my mentors, and the brand. I struggled with my decision for many months.

Complicating my struggle to leave, or to stay, was due to one key factor; I wasn’t being truthful with myself.

And here’s where the Force Field Analysis helped me look into the metaphorical mirror of truth, and make the decision that changed my life … for the better.

First of all, Force Field Analysis is often used in social science to provide a framework to clarify the factors (truths) that affect our decision-making.

You can find models on the internet, but simply put, this tool helps you determine—in a visual fashion—the forces supporting, or the forces detraction from, a good decision.

In my case, I simply created a page with a vertical line running down the middle, separating the page into two columns:

  • Left Column : Forces Supporting Leaving Disney

  • Right Column: Forces Supporting Staying with Disney

To help you visualize, take a moment and create your own Force Field instrument, on a legal pad, right now.

I spent several days slowly filling in each of these columns. The key was for me to be honest with myself; I’d complete a Force Field Analysis, and then set it aside for an hour or two. Then another, and another, and another.

After several days of this activity, I gathered all versions of the Force Field Analysis for one final push. The glaring revelation was shocking … and a great relief; the first versions of my analysis were filled with words that revealed I wasn’t really being honest with myself. The final version, from the very last day, revealed the REAL and TRUTHFUL forces at play:

  • Left Column : Forces Supporting Leaving Disney

  1. Creative Freedom, and
  2. Career Freedom.
  3. (and many more reasons that I valued tremendously …).
  • Right Column: Forces Supporting Staying with Disney

  1. My ego.

Without getting into the many details and iterations of my Force Field Analysis, the entire process revealed to me a number of TRUTHS. I merely had to recognize these truths, and act upon them.

The forces supporting my leaving Disney far outnumbered the forces for staying with Disney. As you can see, the main reason for staying with the company was my ego; I loved having Mickey Mouse on my business card! However, the forces for leaving reflected a much healthier frame of mind.

The decision to leave The Walt Disney Company, although not an easy one, was much less painful once I was truthful … with myself.

So, this wraps up the three-part Truthfulness Series. Of the many messages I shared over the past few weeks, I will close with one final question:

Are you truthful … with yourself?