I recently shared another one of my operating principles: “The best way to look good is to do good”.

I have a couple peers with different perspectives than mine:

  • “All that matters is optics”
  • “Don’t talk about it, it won’t help and will only make you the bad guy”

Well, unfortunately they (especially the latter) understood our particular situation better.

I had a tough conversation yesterday, where I found out that my transparency about a couple problems led me to being seen in an unfavorable light, even when my goal was to follow our organizational value: “Do the right thing. Always.

In both situations, when I voiced those concerns (to the right persons) and the danger they posed to the org, I came with a set of concrete and positive recommendations for addressing the problems.

Because there was no evident follow-up or improvement from the proposed positive action plans, I had check-ins (once on the first situation and twice on the second), and they were seen as “coming back a lot” and as if I had ulterior motives.

I’m reflecting on that a lot this weekend, and what I might have done better.