The Leadership Playbook: Rule #4 – Speak the truth.

In the Netflix series ‘The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life,’ one of the standout lessons shared was “Never be afraid to get fired.”


A powerful statement. How does it relate to leaders? Simply put, leadership requires passion and commitment, and the willingness to speak the truth. It’s not about merely saying what you think others want you to say, but rather taking the risk to say what needs to be said regardless of how difficult the message.


Rule #4: Speak the truth.

We often hear about the importance of transparency. Without the willingness to speak truthfully, transparency cannot exist, and even worse, the truth cannot be established.

What can you do as a leader?

1. Create a culture of candor. To be candid and expect the same from others, it must be a part of who we are and who we aspire to be.

  • Openly and frequently share information across all levels, ensuring information is free-flowing.

  • Encourage others to come forward with information, promoting your teams to take risks, innovate and make decisions.

  • Ensure people have easy access to information that is relevant, accurate, and timely.

2. Stop and listen. To speak the truth, you must also trust your team.

  • Involve your team when making decisions, asking for their input.

  • Question the status quo and promote robust dialogue when innovating or tackling issues, eradicating groupthink.


3. Take risks and be free to make those decisions. Being truthful can only happen when we step out of our comfort zone and go against the grain.

  • Practice having difficult conversations, getting accustomed to stepping up and forward with honesty.

  • Prepare for the conversations, understanding that communication and delivery are critical inspiring action, and garnering buy-in.


4. Admit your mistakes.

  • View mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow, building a risk-friendly environment.

  • Encourage others to own up, building a team of accountability and continual growth.

“Leadership is a choice, not a rank,” says Simon Sinek.


Be brave. Be bold, Be honest. Your team is counting on you to provide clarity, direction, and guidance to move forward.


To read our previous blogs and rules #1, #2 and #3, visit:

Sofia Arisheh

Sofia Arisheh

Sofia Arisheh is a certified HR strategist, leader, and educator with extensive experience in multiple sectors. She specializes in aligning HR strategy with business strategy, focusing on employee-centric approaches to drive better business results.

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