Own My Growth

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Face Up To The Truth

Speak Your Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes

This was in the year 1992. I was a young sales intern fresh out of college at one of India’s premier IT firms. Five months into my job, I had bagged my first independent sales order to supply 50 desktop computers to an architectural firm. In those days, it took about six weeks for the delivery to happen. I captured this time frame in the Terms of the purchase order.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the factory where the Computers were being assembled was in the midst of some serious supply chain issues. Consequently, there was a severe delay in servicing the orders. As the scheduled delivery period passed, I started getting intense pressure from the CEO of the firm. ” I trusted you and your company. Where is my consignment? When can I expect the delivery?” Internal news was that it would take a further six weeks for the machines to be ready. 

I was worried that the client would cancel the order if I mentioned the delay. So, instead of telling the truth that it is very likely to take a further six weeks, I tried to manage the client.

“The consignment is being shipped.” “It’s at the state border.” “It should arrive in the next one to two weeks.”

Two weeks went by, and I was exposed. There were no more stories I could give. The CEO, in frustration, canceled the purchase order and sent a notice for refunding the Advance paid. I requested my supervisor to come with me to assuage the CEO and help salvage the situation. What the CEO said is still vivid in my mind to this day,” I am upset that you guys have delayed the delivery. But, that is not the reason why I have canceled the order. You guys did not have the courage to tell me the truth upfront, and you broke my trust.”

I had the first big lesson of career- ” Face up to the truth, however harsh or bitter it may be.”

In life and career, we come across situations that test our resolve. We take the easy way out.

  • You know the Prospect is not real. But you have to stand up and give an update in the sales review. To tide over the discomfort of saying you don’t have any new prospects, you make up the Prospect.
  • You make a mistake, and the potential damage it can cause worries you. You decide to keep quiet and let the issue die.
  • The market share has dropped. But when the CEO comes for a review, you tune the numbers to make it look like everything is ok.
  • You tell your friend it was his mistake, but in your heart, you know you are wrong.

The list of issues where we shy away from facing the truth is endless……..

You avoid the facts, and you try to escape the truth. But Karma is relentless. What you avoid comes back to bite you becoming nastier and more problematic later.

If you were suffering a disease, would you avoid it, or would you face reality and try to cure it? Truth is like a disease. You can’t avoid it. You have to face up to it even if it may be painful in the immediate term. The treatment may be more painful than the disease in itself. But avoiding the treatment will make the condition more dangerous.

Face up to the brutal truths of your life courageously. When you do so, you can solve some of the problems you may be facing right now. In doing so, you are taking responsibility for your life.

What has to happen will happen eventually. Have the courage to stare at that hard truth in the eye and deal with it, even if it is painful. “A stitch in time is worth nine.”

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