Here's what others have to say about Absolute Honesty:
"This is a topic that we should all get our teeth into," October 21, 2006
John Inman "Learning Conversations" (Portland, OR USA)
"This book is outstanding. Bob has extensive experience in Intel, Tektronix and other technology companies as a senior HR executive and has captured the power of honest communication. There are so many things that get in the way of honest communication and working towards this end can be discouraging if your culture does not support it. However, using the principles that Bob outlines will provide a powerful bottom line impact and should not be ignored. Very powerful book. Now if only every one followed it."
Absolute Advice, May 23, 2006
E. Ted Prince "Ted" (Gainesville, Florida, USA)
"This book sets out and reasserts the moral compass that all companies - and individuals - need to be successful, not only in business but as humans and partners. It's beautifully written, compelling and should be required reading for all executives and managers of companies. It may seem basic but the more sophisticated we are - or think ourselves to be - the more likely we are to neglect these lessons. A book to remind us of our essential fallibility - and our essential goodness, if only we care to care."
The best current work on honesty and leadership, March 7, 2006
Mark Matheson (Highland Utah)
"This is the best current work on honesty and leadership. It is well-written and enjoyable to read. Johnson is a consultant and speaker. Phillips was in human resources for 30 years with several known companies. Their ideas come from their work and consulting observations. Their six laws are good points we all could inculcate in our lives and leadership."
A Plan That Could Work, March 21, 2005
Marc Bringman "(Author: 'Swapping Lies! Deception in the Workplace')"
Given today's moral relativism this is a tall order, but it is also exactly what is needed. It's time we return to the days when a handshake sealed a business deal. OK, I admit we can't get there, but this book outlines a reasonable alternative.
Johnson and Phillips create a plan of action based on establishing values and obtaining honest feedback from employees. They do this by first challenging the reader in the first two chapters, and then outlining the "Six Laws of Absolute Honesty." They spend the rest of the book explaining to the reader how an environment of absolute honesty can be achieved.
Such a program will face many transitional difficulties, and from what I can see Johnson and Phillips cover them all. They provide thorough explanations and step by step instructions to overcome the most difficult problems (e.g. the six steps of constructive confrontation, The Manager's Code of Conduct, or the Five Tenets of Ethical Behavior).
As expected, the authors do not shy away from controversy. For example, they do not advocate the conventional wisdom of pushing a win/win approach to problem solving. They recognize that on occasion right must prevail and doing what is right may not result in a win/win. Finally!
For the busy reader, this is an easy book to read with lots of titled breaks, a good index, and a few fun terms like "lipotage" - giving lip service to an agreement then later sabotaging it.
Insightful!, March 1, 2004
Rolf Dobelli (Luzern Switzerland)
"This handy guide endeavors to reduce the complex challenge of ethical leadership - with which great minds have struggled for thousands of years - to six simple and absolute rules of honesty. The authors, Larry Johnson and Bob Phillips, clearly explain each rule of absolute honesty they have derived and provide many illustrative anecdotes and examples drawn from daily life. There is a fascinating, moving story of one co-author's unforgettable experience as a high school track star, and another account about a couple whose marriage ended in divorce after the wife insisted on acting dishonestly. Perhaps the authors believed that this volume would move even the greatest crooks to resolute and unswerving honesty. Alas, that is beyond their scope. However We find that ordinary businesspeople seeking general guidelines might find useful counsel here. Hey, at least it's a start."
Society of Human Resource Management Newsletter
"Absolute Honesty gives you a template for creating and sustaining a business environment of open communication and healthy debate. It replaces what the authors call the Kumbaya Syndrome -- embrace all decisions, no matter how stupid or unethical; smile and sing the company campfire song! -- with a straight-thinking system that respects honesty instead of demeaning it.
The authors of Six Laws of Absolute Honesty; offer executives and all employees specific guidelines to follow and actions to take to ensure a candid and truthful culture. The practices they recommend in the book form the basis on which all credible leadership action is based. This is a book worth doing, not just
Absolute Honesty, July 17, 2003
Margaret Lohmann (Grass Valley, CA United States)
I enjoyed reading this book because anyone can relate to it. There are always "real" stories in each chapter which is an excellent way to describe what the writers are trying to emphasis. "Absolute Honesty" is also a wonderful book for women. Many times women find themselves in situations where they want to be honest, but are extremely uncomfortable or fear they won't be listened to. "Absolute Honesty" has great ideas on how to approach people allowing them to be sincere without the fear.
Read this book. Spread the message to others., July 5, 2003
Roger E. Herman (Greensboro, NC USA)
Recent corporate scandals have shaken confidence in leadership and the ethical underpinnings of the business world. Without significant change, we risk increasing problems in the years ahead. It's time for leaders to step forth, declare a commitment to ethical performance, and set the example.
"Absolute Honesty" tells it like it is, and like it must be. Johnson and Phillips, management consultants who have been inside and seen how things work, have produced a powerful tool. This easy-to-read book emphasizes that no one argues against corporate integrity, but some executives need support on HOW to apply the principles. Readers of "Absolute Honesty" will learn how to build the right kind of cultural infrastructure.
The authors argue that too many companies adhere to what they call "the Kumbaya Syndrome---embrace all decisions, no matter how stupid or unethical; smile and sing the company campfire song." It's too easy to just go along, and confronting or fighting superiors or The System is frowned upon.
The alternative is to apply their Six Laws of Absolute Honesty: Tell the Truth, Tackle the Problems, Disagree and Commit, Welcome the Truth, Reward the Messenger, and Build a Platform of Integrity. A chapter on each of the laws explains what needs to be done, with effective supporting material including advice, anecdotes, and a style that makes the whole process comfortable and acceptable.
The book is organized into three parts. The first part, The Challenge, includes chapters on The Naked Truth and A Culture of Absolute Honesty. These 52 pages set the stage nicely for the rest of the book. Part 2 presents the Six Laws, with engaging detail. Part 3 is aptly entitled "Where Do We Go from Here?" The final two chapters discuss building an ethical infrastructure and Key Points to Help Your Implementation Efforts. Lots of good, practical advice here. The book concludes with Notes and a good index.
You'll find this book to be a disarmingly fast read. There's a personal sort of feeling that draws the reader into the subject and keeps the flow moving. This book is one you'll keep in your office-for reference and to send a message to all who enter.
Not For the Faint of Heart, June 24, 2003
Chip Clark "curious skeptic" (Mancos, CO United States)
Absolute Honesty is not a book for the faint of heart. It takes courage to bring integrity to work. It takes commitment to long term, sustainable success to build a corporate culture founded on honesty. If you value this kind of courage and commitment, this is the book for you. It is practical, with loads of examples of what it takes to be honest at work, the obstacles that prevent us from being honest, and tips for overcoming these obstacles. These stories and examples come from genuine organization experience - no irrelevant academic theories here. The Six Laws of Absolute Honesty are a clear and compelling distillation of a complex bundle of information, and the last chapter on implementation is solid and helpful (and too often missing from corporate culture books).
And - especially rare in books of this genre - it is very well written. Practically a page turner!
Following a year in which Time magazine's "persons" of the year were whistle blowers who risked their careers and reputations to tell the truth, this is a timely and important book. Strongly recommended for everyone who cares about ethics in the workplace.
A Road Map for Organizational Culture, June 24, 2003
Reviewer: Edward W. Ginter (Portland, OR USA)
Finally a book that takes the black magic out of organizational development. Beautifully written. Easy to read. A must for HR professionals and executives who are trying to create an organization capable of thriving in turbulent times. Absolute Honesty pulls together the various concepts and processes needed to define and drive an enabling business culture. It then provides a road map for discovering the cultural attributes need in a given business, communicating the expected attitudes and behaviors, and ultimately walking the talk.
At last, total honesty, June 23, 2003
Reviewer: Andy Smith (Milwaukee Wi United States)
This book cuts through the crap and addresses the problem of slime spreading smiling people who line up behind you to push you down stairs when your back is turned. In each chapter I saw a little more of the truth that most will not tell you. Do not read this book if you are afraid of the truth.
Worth the price of admission just to leave it on someone elses desk!!!
Sam Outcalt (Longmont, CO)
This book should become a classic for not only Business Professionals but all Professionals. The authors outline a set of simple rules for effective interaction and expand on these topics with a fine set of examples from their consulting practices. The fact that there will always be conflict in organizations in which staff are effectively placed on the basis of their aggressiveness and their mode of data analysis (gut feeling versus hard data) is an extremely powerful tool that will allow managers to filter communication effectively. Also the authors found that the "win win algorithm" so poplar with modern managers does little for the organization and should be abandon.
Management and Integrity: Finally a merger that counts!, June 11, 2003
"stevebil" (Portland, OR USA)
If you've ever disagreed with a manager or a co-worker and you've been scared to speak up, then this is the book for you! If you've ever known someone who thought that retribution was fair play, that there were "many levels" of honesty, that people who disagree simply aren't "team players", that public chastisement is acceptable, or that people with ideas different from their own are "just being confrontational", then this is the book for them.
This book is the only clear, precise, articulate book in support of unconditional integrity that I've seen in the management literature. It makes a great companion to Stephen Covey's "7 Habits" and Blane Lee's "Power Principle" because it builds a profound case for the value of honest dialog in interdependent relationships. Best of all, the book provides A MYRIAD OF EXAMPLES of what to do and not to do in situations of constructive confrontation.
Bottom line... buy yourself the book... buy your friends the book... and, your boss, well... if you think she'll be offended when you give her the book, then it's probably the best gift you can give her.