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How to Make It Safe for Your Team to Tell You the Hard Truth

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Employees who speak the (often ugly) truth are your most valuable asset. Yet, it is extremely difficult to obtain candid feedback. Without such feedback, however, your team could idly watch you execute on a misguided decision. Let’s roll the clock back nearly 60 years for a lesson about what happens when a team remains silent and watches its leader fail . . .

In 1961 President Kennedy launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, a failed military take-over of Cuba. During the planning session, President Kennedy’s top advisors had grave concerns about the plan. They remained silent and blamed their silence on Kennedy’s absolute determination to overthrow Fidel Castro. The President was so committed to the idea that no one wanted to confront him. Ultimately, the failed invasion caused great embarrassment and loss of credibility for the President. It should be a significant concern if advisors to the President of the United States are afraid to speak or if the President surrounds himself with yes-men.

Related: The Importance of Candor and Other Lessons From a Former White House Chief of Staff

The same principles apply when it comes to leading your company. Whether you need to be warned about a horrible hiring decision you are about to make, or an........

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