It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but liars do get caught.
The thing about lies is that they are unsustainable. Eventually, someone begins to catch on, investigate, corroborate and vet the lies.
When a person tells enough of them, it is too hard for the liar to keep track of who/what was told.
The truth is always a ‘same story’ scenario – it is clean and you only have to remember the truth.
Lies get bent, twisted and confused until one can no longer remember what they have told, to whom they have told it, and eventually lies begin to unravel.
When a long series of lies begins to unravel, desperation sets in – and the lies get bigger to cover the other unraveling lies. It is a deep vortex from which one rarely recovers, especially if they have a high profile or are in a position of authority. (edit 2013: think Lance Armstrong)
Indication one is caught in a lie – they try to eliminate the power of the people who know the truth!
Cheating works the same way as lying…..cheating labels a leader. People quit being loyal to liars and cheaters, word gets out, and pretty soon liars and cheaters struggle to hire the quality people for the job. Liars tell stories to boost their own interests, and after a while they begin to believe no one sees through the stories. They are wrong.
Solution? Don’t do it.
Transparency and honesty are key pieces of the leadership puzzle. If you want your team to perform, remember that lying, cheating, and bullying will shut the performing parts of their brains down – not as many synapses in the brain will fire.
Honesty, engagement and giving credit to those who have worked for you, this opens up the performing parts of the brain – more synapses in the brain will fire. This equals great performance by your team. It is science. Pay attention.