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Rules Successful Companies Use to Attract and Keep Top Talent by David Russo

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17. The Last and Overarching Rule: Tell the Truth! (and a Few Action Items to Grow On)

In the movie A Few Good Men, there is a memorable scene where Tom Cruise, as defense counsel, confronts witness Jack Nicholson, a veteran marine colonel. After they exchange a few barbs, Nicholson baits Cruise, “What do you want!?”

Cruise responds, “I want the truth!”

Nicholson’s comeback is, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

I think of this scene fairly often and smile to myself when I see executives and managers “dumbing down” the messages they give to employees. Truths are “spun” into “company speak” so that what is really going on with a sticky situation is clouded over beyond recognition. Fact is, many people in positions of power and ...

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