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NEVER Tell Them It’s Hard To Do

October 3, 2014

I’m thinking about buying a new car. I’ve narrowed it down to one of two vehicles. Tell me which one you think I should get.

Car A:
Lexus ES300
Good condition
Moon roof
Six Cylinder
NEW: fuel pump, engine mount, power steering pump, water pump, timing belt, thermostat, antenna
New lights and bulbs all the way around.


Okay, the next one doesn’t sound quite as nice.

Car B:
Lexus ES300
Mostly Gold in color (Some discolorizution)
Extensive engine work done recently
Still a leak on back valve cover and transmission.
240,000 miles


I’m trying to decide which one is the better deal.

I’ve been a trainer since very early in my IT career. I remember taking a train-the-trainer class on WordPerfect 4.2 with some other support operators. A fellow student was teaching us about how to download soft fonts.

Before we get into the steps, realize it’s kind of hard to get soft fonts to download the first time.

Fortunately the instructor stopped her.

If you tell people it’s going to be hard, they will believe you. Break it down into small enough chunks of instructions, and anything can be a explained simply.

I’m reminded of a story of a young lieutenant leading his first patrol and he realized he didn’t know where he was.

Sergeant, help me out here. I have no idea where we are.

Can I speak to you privately, sir?

Go ahead and speak freely Sergeant.

Sir, if you ever admit you are lost in front of the men again, I will frag you myself.

Probably not a true story, but an important point. As leaders, we are expected to lead. Now, does that mean you should lie? Absolutely not. But, you need to also not give your team reason to doubt your leadership, or doubt the company direction.

As a leader you do not have the luxury of indecision. The difference between a lie and a giving a less than complete answer? Much of the time it is confidence.

Rodney, I can’t believe the company is going to stop paying for our home internet access. That’s like taking a $600 per year pay cut. And they STILL expect me to handle issues from home when something comes up after hours!

You might be 100% in sympathy with your employees. You might have done the math and realized that you too are taking a $600 pay cut with the new policy. But, if you want to maintain credibility, you need to be confident and avoid the temptation to bad mouth the company or your leadership chain.

I understand how you feel. Obviously, the company has to constantly reevaluate their benefits package and balance that against their needs. I’m sure they considered the impact on the employees, but this is the direction we are headed at this point.

The way you present ideas and decisions can be the difference between success and failure, a team that will unite and follow you even when they disagree and vs a team that will constantly drag their heels and look for ways around unpopular policies.

As a manager you really need to consider yourself a salesman at times. You are selling management to the staff and in turn, selling staff suggestions to management. And like a great salesman, you need to understand how to accentuate the positives.

So, the decision between the two cars? It was easy. They are both the same car, just presented in two different lights.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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