Graciously Telling The Hard Truth And Demanding to Hear It From Others
Candor is the first of the 5Cs, the F3 Leadership Characteristics. These are the attributes that enable the Q to be what a Leader is. In contrast, Leadership Skills are the abilities that enable the Q to do what a Leader does. Candor is not a Skill, it is a Characteristic.
The dictionary defines candor as a state or quality of being frank, open and sincere in speech or expression; free from bias, fair and impartial. F3’s definition is a little different and a lot shorter: Candor simply means graciously telling the hard truth.
It is not that sincerity is bad or that freedom from bias is not an aspirational Virtue, but only that truth is more important
Sincerity can be faked (and usually is), and no man is ever completely free from bias. It is better for a Leader to say what he truly believes and disclose his biases so his followers can assess for themselves how sincere and fair he is.
Candor (the F3 type) is rare. We have come to live in a culture that elevates individual subjective feelings over the sharp discourse necessary to any search for universal truth, where a sincerely held belief (no matter how factually flimsy) trumps all else.
For Goo Nation, any confrontation to an individual’s untested thesis with a diametrical antithesis is deemed “hate speech” because it forces the person to confront the proposition:
• that his emotions may be unreliable
• that there may be more data he should consider
• that there may be work to do to get at the truth
• that he is going to have to Move
If everybody is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking at all
George Patton (a man more than willing to speak hard truth) said that “if everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”. This reflects the implicit flip side of Candor, that a Leader is not only a man who tells the hard truth, but who also demands to hear it from others. A Leader is suspicious of his own emotions because they reflect his subjectivity, biases and fear more than reality. Without hard truth he cannot clearly see the whole picture. He knows that there will always be more work to do to get at the truth. That’s what makes it hard.
His willingness to do it is what makes him a Leader.