Rick Warren, the author of the Purpose Driven Life and Pastor of Saddleback which has over 80,000 people on its rolls, had a non-conventional approach to building his church. Instead of finding a facility, hiring musicians and preparing sermons, he went door to door and asked people why they didn’t go to church. He then built a church that had none of those things. Instead of following conventional wisdom or assuming he knew what to do, he sought the truth. He had the humility to seek to find out what reality was.
Being “In Touch” with reality and seeking truth is a required character trait of an effective leader. “In Touch” leaders have the courage to confront the brutal facts of reality, even when it means they need to start over or go in a different direction. Being in touch requires balance in three areas:
1) In touch leaders must seek the truth about the external world. This includes what is true about them, their company and their market today. Acknowledging that what worked in the past will not always work in the future.
2) They seek feedback about themselves. They desire it as an opportunity to grow. They are in tune with the fact that we don’t see ourselves accurately.
3) They seek the truth about other people. From the lonely individual that marries a nut job to the people that make bad hires or forge bad partnerships, our tendency to distort others is a big part of how we run into trouble.
“The consequences of deceit are usually greater than the ones of the truth.” - Dr. Henry Cloud