James Trevelyan

In business, when is it acceptable to lie? by James Trevelyan

In his book “Leadership BS” jeffrey Pfeffer explains that leaders have to be careful with the truth. He explains that the idea that leaders should always be open and 100% frank and forthcoming is not supported by evidence. As a leader, I have to keep my team energised and enthusiastic, and at the same time when we do have problems, I have to stay positive no matter how difficult things seem. I don’t think it is acceptable to lie, because lies undermine one’s integrity and important ones will be exposed, eventually. On the other hand, I think one has to think about how people will be affected and influenced by what I say, so I have to find a way to tell the truth that helps people remain positive and motivated. I would be interested to read what others have to say on this. By the way, Jeffrey’s book is refreshing and easy to read: I recommend it.

About James Trevelyan

James Trevelyan is an engineer, educator, researcher and start-up entrepreneur. As founder and inventor of Close Comfort, he is introducing new energy-saving, low emissions air conditioning technology for a global market. His research on engineering practice helped define the Engineers Australia professional competencies for chartered engineers. His books “The Making of an Expert Engineer” and “Learning Engineering Practice” are influencing the future of engineering education in universities and workplaces. He is best known internationally for pioneering research on sheep shearing robots from 1975 till 1993 and for the first industrial robot that could be remotely operated via the internet in 1994. He has worked as an expert witness on several significant intellectual property matters in Australia and internationally. He has also managed his family investment portfolio for several decades and has advised family investment companies in the UK and Australia.

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