Sunday, April 08, 2007


Corporate Pinocchios

Here is a "confession" from a Financial Times columnist that she lies all the time. I lie all the time as well. I would never survive in the corporate world if any of my employers knew that I kept a blog like this, or if I ever truthfully expressed my attitude toward bosses at the workplace. I'll wager you're a liar, too. If you're not, then you are either a fool or you're simply lying to yourself.

Columnist Lucy Kellaway says that we lie when we suck up to our bosses, or talk down to our underlings or even treat our colleagues like equals and partners. We lie when we try to sell anything, including ourselves. Our bosses give us goals and deadlines they don't for a moment expect us to meet, and we tell them that we are on track even when we're not. We claim to like the drudgery that comprises our daily grind - indeed, as Kellaway reminds us, "we claim to be 'passionate' about what we do, when in fact we barely tolerate it." But lies are inescapable in any workplace. "Lies are so deeply woven in the fabric of office life that if you took them away," claims Kellaway, "the whole thing would unravel."

This, ahem, "truth", if you'll excuse the expression, exposes the lie - or outs the folly - of any movement in the direction of corporate "transparency." The best thing we can do is not to always tell the truth - as that is impossible - but simply never to believe the lies we tell.

"Commentary: Lying is essential to doing business" from NPR Marketplace

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