The Role of Facts in Leadership

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Many people wrongly believe that when one collects the facts, he always discovers the truth. While several times that may turn out to be the answer, there are several other times when points don’t lead someone automatically to the truth. Yes, the facts don’t forever reveal the truth, but the truth always reveals the facts. Although this may seem somewhat contradictory at first, in far too many instances, it is the case.

Not all scenarios are a replica of “black and white” situations. In many real-life instances, there are usually cases where there is far more “gray.” Statistics, for instance, are often manipulated to offer a specific desired set of facts, but those facts are usually not the whole story. How a survey item for a poll, for instance, often defines the results that might be gathered. For instance, in today’s world, most of us have been, at least somewhat, unfavorably impacted. Therefore, if the question asked, “Are you happy with the economy?” nearly everyone would respond no, and the number would show a sizeable dissatisfying situation. However, if questions such as, “Do you agree with the Government’s approach towards the economy?” the answers might show different results. But, if the question were, “Do you agree with the Government’s approach, the opposition party’s approach, or neither?” we most perhaps would get an entirely separate set of responses. It then, of course, depends on who is being questioned and how the data is being accumulated.

Another example might be that it might be a fact that membership, for instance, decreased during someone’s tenure in office, but does that make the fact that it had to do with that person’s leadership? Or was the circumstance inherited? As you can see, there are several variables involved.

On the other hand, when something is the reality, all the facts must align with that particular ‘reality.’ truth is based on legitimate facts, the honorable and legitimate handling of those facts, and the ability to interpret things accurately. So many leaders fail to reach their objectives because they see a set of facts, and those facts form what they see as truth. Truth is made of numerous and various facts, and without the training to understand them, or the responsibility to research the details, or the integrity to use those facts in a non-prejudicial, non-biased manner, many people in leadership abuse facts to “prove” their version” of the truth. Real and honest truth cannot and does not have versions – it is merely the truth!

How many times have we heard people use a particular set of facts to prove or justify their point of view? Just because you might interpret a particular set of facts confidently, that does not make that the truth.

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