139: How to Speak the Truth to Your Boss and Team (Even When It’s Hard) | with Mindy Mackenzie



Pretty young woman explaning about her profile to business managers at a job interview

“Learn what is true to do what is right.”
~ Thomas Huxley

The thing that companies and individuals need most they often get least. What is this thing? The truth.

Why? Because people don’t have the courage to say what they’re really thinking. But no company or individual can survive, let alone thrive, without the truth. You aren’t doing anyone a favor when you don’t provide bad news, negative feedback, or other “hard truths” that can affect performance.

In her new book, The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling with Your Boss, Peers, and Team, Mindy Mackenzie challenges business leaders to take simple actions that are highly practical, although they do require vulnerability and courage. As a result, leaders will dramatically improve their impact while increasing their happiness and fulfillment.


In this episode, Jesse and Mindy discuss:

  • how to speak truths in a way people will actually hear (and be open to your influence),
  • how to deliver squirm-free feedback to your direct-reports using the Scale of 1 – 10 Question,
  • keys to delivering the hardest truth to an under-performer (“you’re fired”) without sucking the life out of you,
  • how to build credibility with your boss, so that your ideas will be more likely to be implemented,
  • how to express pushback, challenges, and disagreements with your boss, and
  • the #1 question to ask your boss in order to make a positive change in your relationship.

Mindy Mackenzie is a speaker, author, and CEO advisor. Previously, she served as Chief Performance Officer and Chief HR Officer of liquor giant Jim Beam. Her career also includes five years at Campbell Soup Co., where she was was VP of Asia Pacific HR & Public Affairs, and nine years at Wal-Mart, where she advanced through various leadership, HR, and Organizational Development roles.

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