Truth: The Lynchpin of Good Leadership

Truth-Lynchpin-Good-Leadership-Todd-NielsenOnce upon a time, there was a great sports hero. He was considered the best in his field.  He won several world titles, defeated a bout with cancer, and then won some more world titles. He was famous, people respected him and he earned a lot of money. To give back to the community, he started a charitable foundation and he was admired by all.

Then he lied… The end.

There are many qualities of leadership, but the adverse of many of those qualities can instantly derail all the good that a leader has accomplished. Lying is one of those things that can consume light. It can instantly destroy respect and trust.

Lying consumes light, destroys respect, and causes leaders to fail” ~ Todd Nielsen (Click to Tweet)

Leaders must tell the truth. There is absolutely no getting around this simple rule. The truth, when communicated regularly and in a timely fashion, is an essential play in a leader’s playbook, and results in an increase in morale and credibility.

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (Click to Tweet)

Increase in Morale

The truth improves morale, because it serves to detour rumors; keeping everyone aware of issues and what is happening around them. Without knowing the truth, and without being kept up to date on the truth, rumors can quickly circulate.

Increase in Credibility

The truth will always increase your credibility, and more rapidly, a lie will ruin your credibility… instantly.  Leaders can tell the truth a thousand times, but one lie will ruin all of the trust they have built up. With great credibility and morale, a leader can move towards personal and organizational success.

So make it a personal motto to be a leader of integrity by telling the truth. Being honest with yourself and others will help to increase your respect, effectiveness, and ability to lead others, and your organization, to success.

About Todd Nielsen

Todd Nielsen helps organizations create miracles of success and profitability through the power of execution. Having served as Vice-President, President, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Executive Officer of organizations, he has learned how to create a culture that "Gets Things Done." He is passionate about leadership, and is a dynamic and inspirational speaker.


  1. Ron (Coach) Beard says:

    Insightful article, Todd.

    Here are some framed prints that were in my classroom before I retired.

    They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!

    If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader!

    If you chase two rabbits both will escape!

    You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within!

    The pessimist complains about the wind.
    The optimist expects it to change.
    The leader adjust the sails.

    Contact me Todd if you would like more information. These framed prints are very inspiring.

    • Barbara Koenig says:

      Thanks Todd for a GREAT post on something unfortunately many get wrong. It is too easy to get caught up in the situation and lose the Truth compass. Also, thanks for the quotes Ron. Love them (!), especially the pessimist, optimist and leader quote. Thank you for sharing as well.

  2. Being a truthful leader allows a person to have and increase their influence level. Great post and thoughts!


  1. […] Truth: The Lynchpin of Good Leadership by Todd Nielsen.  “Being honest with yourself and others will help to increase your respect, effectiveness, and ability to lead others, and your organization, to success.” […]