Jim Collins was the first to popularize it as a leadership practice in Good to Great. Thom Rainer picks up the same theme and applies it to church leadership in Breakout Churches. Andy Stanley makes it a main theme of his Next Generation Leader, where he says that a vital practice of leadership is the courage to face current reality – even if they are “the brutal facts” per Collins. Earlier writers like Max DePree spoke of the same concept when they indicate that the first job of a leader is “defining reality”.
Stanley says there are seven things the leader who wants to confront “real reality” (or the brutal facts) must NOTdo:
- No pretending.
- No blind eyes to truth.
- No exaggeration.
- No shooting bad news bearers.
- No hiding behind numbers.
- No ignoring constructive criticism.
- No isolating self.
Of course this has to come from recognized leaders – all others will just sound like cranky people.