Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 7th, 2018

Dynamic candor: And 10 of them that are essential?

By Dan Rockwell?

Inept leaders block uncomfortable topics from the discussion. It’s pathetic. Weak, fearful leaders need agreement to confirm their leadership.

I recently spent time with five members of an executive team who displayed the power of candor. They brought themselves and their perspective to the discussion.

In some organizations it would have been dangerous. I found it invigorating.

Weak executives say what their CEO expects them to say.


Candor used well ignites useful stress and productive conflict.

Candor enables excellence by propelling tough issues into leadership conversations. Apart from candor, organizations enjoy imagined unity based on conspiracies of silence. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

Lack of candor is the path to mediocrity and eventual crisis.

Candor, however, isn’t an answer on its own.


The context of candor is tough issues, short-comings, failures, and the pursuit of excellence. Candor on its own creates negative, oppressive, dark environments.

10 Behaviors effective candor requires:

  1. Willingness to adapt or change. If you can’t say, “I was wrong,” candor becomes adversity.
  2. Gossip free secrecy. Candor ends when you publicly share private disagreements.
  3. Respect. Withholding candor is manipulative disrespect. It suggests that others believe you can’t handle or don’t want the truth.
  4. Courtesy. If anger fuels your candor, keep quiet until anger abates.
  5. Passion with emotional steadiness.
  6. Trust that others won’t use your words against you. Lack of candor expresses lack of trust. Candor creates vulnerability. Candor says, “I trust you enough to speak the hard truth.”
  7. Apologies.
  8. Taking responsibility.
  9. Staying focused on issues, outcomes, processes, and procedures.
  10. Affirmation.

Candor apart from affirmation builds negative relationships.

Bonus: Everyone rows together once decisions are made.

How have you seen candor go wrong?

What makes candor work?

8 strenghts of Humility

I ask G.J. Hart, when he was CEO of Texas Roadhouse, if he could spot emerging leaders. He didn’t rule out talent, education, or leadership presence, but he replied, “I can usually tell if they have the humility to make it.

Hart’s statement so deeply impacted me that I wrote about humility in, “The Character Based Leader.”

Humble leaders are stronger than arrogant leaders.

Humble strength vs. arrogant weakness:

  1. Humility learns; arrogance knows.
  2. Humble leaders submit to noble values; they won’t bend. Arrogant leaders bend rules to their advantage.
  3. Humility listens; arrogance talks.
  4. Humble leaders serve others; arrogant leaders serve themselves.
  5. Humble leaders are free to build up others. Arrogant leaders build up themselves.
  6. Humility opens hearts; arrogance builds walls.
  7. Humility joins; arrogance stands aloof.
  8. Humble leaders connect; arrogant leaders disconnect.

Humility enables leaders to ask, “How can I help?”

Thanks to Kristi Neises on The Leadership Coffee Shop for reminding me of this C.S. Lewis quote:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”


Leadership skills are important for leadership success but humility is necessary. I’ll take a less skilled humble leader over a more skilled arrogant leader every time.

Arrogant leaders might succeed but they’ll never be successful. Can you think of any leadership skill that isn’t more beautiful with humility?

The Path:

Leadership is first about character then about skills. Spend more time developing the practice of humility and less time working on leadership skills.

You can’t talk your way into humility; it’s always practiced.

See Facebook contributions: The Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

What strengths do you see in humility?

How does arrogance hinder or destroy leadership?

This coercion system that produces “egalitarian” brainless human machines

Militarism is a deadly system and the army is a diabolic machine designed and refined through time immemorial to squelch the individuality of the recruits and soldiers once they enter the system.

There is no need to describe the process of forming soldiers because countless movies have shown the humiliating and brutal states of going through a working day during the preliminary phases of indoctrination.

First, the recruits enter in regular columns in a vast court and in their civil clothing: the dresses show disparities in an unequal society. Then the recruits are given a unique uniform to provide the illusion of fraternity and equality and then they are ordered to chant in cadence while marching in order to prevent any kind of internal thinking.

The core objective in the design of this system is to eliminate thinking by constant chores, fatigue, sleeplessness. The collective passion of hating the drill sergeant is meant to secure unity among the recruits.

An evident objective target that is behaving as a total ignorant and cursing non-stop; a drill sergeant who transformed your individual freedom and sense of dignity into a nightmare of nothingness.

The drill sergeant is obeying to a higher ranked officer, who in turn is obeying to another superior and so on to higher grades.

The higher your education the meaner the tasks and the lower your comprehension compared to the variety of stupid animals you are labeled with.

Once your hate is complete for the drill sergeant and the lower officers then you are trained to transfer your negative emotion to a complete love of your intelligent superior officer; an officer that acts as if he is attentive to your plights, who listens to your lucubration and who praises your accomplishments and education and efforts.

For the Captain the recruits and soldiers are thus ready to die because they love their new found idol and hero.

The officers in the military would argue that no society in history managed to survive without strong, solid and enduring soldiers organized to hunt large beasts, and defend the tribe from predators or enemies and to aid during catastrophic events.

Note 1: The same system is applied to forming terrorist groups at the sold of colonial powers to divide and fomented civil wars in militarily weaker nations

Note 2: I yet have to witness a “normal” retired officer: They are mostly fucked-up.





November 2018

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