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  • kristin412

A Children’s Book Must Read For Trump

Dear Young Professional,

Okay, before you think this is a political blog rant, STOP it’s not. I am only going to draw parallels from current events as they are shared experiences. Shared experiences are a great way to illustrate a concept.

While I do have opinions on our current political landscape, that conversation is better over lunch or drinks.

Why would I even suggest a children’s book as a source of thought leadership?

Children’s books are written to make the message of the story simple and clear. No complicated models or lengthy definitions to help you understand the core message.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am an avid reader of business books, Harvard Business Review and other journals. Yet, I carry and have prominently displayed, for years, on my office book shelf this book: The Emperor’s New Clothes, A tale set in China told by DEMI.

This book has a very profound message for leaders. What’s the cost of denial and creating a culture where there is no place for truth? According to the story, the emperor had his dressers put him in a new set of clothes every few hours, so he could walk around proudly and be admired by his people. This desire of image is so strong that Emperor is easily duped when two strangers arrive and claim they can spin the finest clothes as they are woven and tailored with magic. They claim fools cannot see the clothes only clever people can see them.

As the story goes on and the Emperor decides to walk among his people and be admired, his Imperial Minister and High Chancellor dare not admit they could not see anything on their Emperor. Not wanting to risk being called a fool, people appeased the Emperor with compliments and quietly talked behind his back.

All this time the Emperor only heard what he wanted, his people only telling him what he wanted to hear. Not until a child, with out risk or knowledge of consequences, calls out, “He has nothing on! The Emperor has no clothes!” The Emperor heard the child.

Now onto the parallel in current events…

Earlier this week, our government shut down for approximately 80 hours. Prior to this shut down was an infamous televised meeting at the white house, where the American people and the world saw a President vacillate between positions.

When the President said he agreed with a California Senator for a clean DACA measure, it was obvious the discomfort from a Republican Senator trying to speak his truth as to why that may not be the best way forward.

Afterwards news reports that aids in the White House spun their “magic” and the President’s views and support changed once again. The end result? A government shutdown.

Wherever you are in your career, (an entrepreneur starting a company, new to workforce in one of your first jobs, a manager or manager track), the lesson in this children’s book can prove invaluable!

  • Who are you listening to?

  • Do you foster a culture of feedback?

  • As a leader, are you modeling receiving feedback?

  • What is your approach to a leader who doesn’t want the truth?

Take some time and reflect. Does this story ring true to any of your experiences, past or current? Have you known a leader people dare not speak truth to?

Hopefully the one with no clothes is not the one you see in a mirror.

Fondly, Aunt Kris

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