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//Don’t be afraid of the truth

Don’t be afraid of the truth

2018-06-21T14:26:15+00:00

If you want your organization to excel in everything it does then you must encourage everyone to be fearless: they must speak up, speak out, and speak the truth - constantly.

Quality & Me

Subir shares short stories about what people do to make a difference everywhere they go. We can make huge contributions to the way we function as a society by standing out as an example within our own community: at work, at our places of worship, among our colleagues, friends, and family. All it takes is the courage to step up and being straightforward, thoughtful, accountable, and resilient.

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Books by Subir

The Power of LEO
The Ice Cream Maker
The Power of Design for Six
The Power of Six Sigma
Organization 21c

Books read by Subir

Let’s talk about the truth.

If you want your organization to succeed, you must encourage everyone – and I do mean everyone – to not be afraid of speaking up, speaking out, and speaking the truth.

I get that this can be hard, especially when you work in a corporate setting. Not everyone wants to hear the truth, let alone act on it.

Some people just don’t want to face the truth—after all, if you ignore reality, you won’t have to deal with it, right?

Wrong.

Even in the best organizations, politics that inhibit being authentic can permeate the air, stifle productivity, and prevent real and lasting solutions from being found and implemented.

Let me give you an example.

During a client meeting I sat in on, the COO encouraged everyone to speak the truth—to share openly and tell it like it is.

The problem was, no one did. You could hear a pin drop. It was clear they were terrified.

When a few people finally spoke up, they were quickly silenced by others in the room.

The COO continued to encourage people to speak up. He told them it was essential that they support each other, even if a problem affected someone else’s group or department.

It was clear to me as an observer that there was a big game of political maneuvering going on.

People were scared to speak up, speak out, or to tell the truth.

They feared for their jobs.

This company had a culture where people swept problems under the rug, even in front of their bosses, including the COO.

Fear and lying is an all-too common issue in organizations: people are afraid of repercussions, losing their jobs, being embarrassed—you name it. As long as your organization is operating in fear, you will never succeed. In fact, you will fail. Fear is a formula for disaster.

Encourage everyone – and I mean everyone – to be straightforward, to tell the truth, and to not be afraid. Without being straightforward, you can never make a difference.

Who made the difference in your life?

I recently attended an event that included bestselling authors, and wildly successful business entrepreneurs. But this one young man stole the show for me, and helped me understand what redefining success means.

Making Choices

Subir reflects on his arrival into the United States with the promise of a job, only to find that the promise is broken. Practically penniless, Subir searches deep into his soul. Undefeated and undeterred, Subir pursues professors and department heads until he meets one who asks: You went to 20 departments, and now it is the 21st one; if I say no to you what you would do? Subir tells him, "I will go to the 22nd." This is Subir's story, not of conquest, but of perseverance in the face of making difficult choices.

Recognizing Quality Innovation

In 2010, the Society of Automotive Engineers along with the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation, established The Subir Chowdhury Medal of Quality Leadership. This award is designed to honor those in the mobility industry who demonstrate ability and talent to further innovation and broaden the impact of "quality" in mobility engineering, design and manufacture.

Have you gotten the “Wake-up” call to be straightforward?

A director I was consulting with always expected people to come to him. This guy really believed that no news was good news. Like a lot of senior level executives, he expected people to come to him, not vice versa. The problem was, no news wasn’t good news—it was the opposite. Problems weren’t getting resolved.