I've been spending time leveling-up my skills as a business owner and operator and a large focus of mine is how I communicate and lead our growing team.
A book that I've come across recently has been giving me a ton of practical things to think through and try — one of which is upgrading my own personal definition of
Here's what Col. Malone has to say about it:
Candor means openness plus honesty plus simplicity.On the battlefield, it is the prime rule governing communications among men. It operates to ensure the best possible transfer of meaning among people.
The stakes are too high, and time is too short, to screw around with anything else but the essence and the truth. Men in battle can't mess around with little white lies and private secrets and little games. Communication of fact, and of feelings as well, must be clean, simple, whole, accurate.
The candor of the battlefield serves to develop and support the trust upon which men's commitment to each other is built. The candor of the battlefield is why "buddy groups" form there so quickly and permanently. The candor of the battlefield is why lies told there are punished, not with gossip, but with action.
The battlefield is the most honest place in the world.
I love everything about this definition and I have since begun to apply it liberally throughout our organization. I have already built our startup on a good chunk of this through our two
operating virtues, "table all-the-things" and "speed of decision making", both of which tag nicely with Malone's perspective above.
Simplicity, though, is something I'm trying to do better in my leadership and communication; this is especially important considering that our chief competitive advantage is our ability to transfer meaning quickly and act on it decisively, something that our slower and larger competitors can't do as easily.
Trust is what makes all of this work and it creates a flywheel that begets more trust when you start building it. As a leader, this starts with you.