Last weekend I went to see Divergent, a movie based on a trilogy written by Veronica Roth. Most of us read the series and were eager to be disappointed because, well, the movie is never as good as the book.
Our seats hadn’t yet warmed when the conversation began.
Jennifer: Which faction would you be?
Me: Who me, why I’d be Divergent of course.
Gail: No, you can’t be Divergent. You have to belong to one of the factions.
Me: Then I would be Candor.
All: Ahhhh yeah, of course. What else?!
I am candid person; I know that healthy and productive relationships depend upon it. And right now, I am feeling the love. A few days ago I reunited with a client over lunch. When the conversation turned to my ponderings about my brand, she gave me some welcome and flattering feedback.
What stands out to me is how well you ‘speak truth to power.’ You have the ability to speak the truth in a way that people can hear it. Not everybody can do that, and I really admire you for that.
It was music to my ears and warm fuzzies for my heart, but just how valuable is this kind of Candor? According to Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, it’s brought in about 10.3 billion in the box office from its fourteen films – from Toy Story to the current smash hit Frozen. In an interview with Fast Company, Catmull previews his book Creativity Inc. and attributes much of Pixar’s success to the candor practiced by their “Brain Trust” in quarterly meetings.
A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Our decision-making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge and unvarnished opinions of the group. Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments.
Dysfunction has its costs: it cuts off communication, impairs decision-making, stifles creativity, kills productivity, and annoys customers. Let me say that again: it really annoys customers.
That’s why I press my clients to say what needs to be said – in healthy, productive ways.
So, I am proud to be from Candor. How about you? What is your faction and are you proud of it?
I still truly believe I am Divergent. I wouldn’t be Candor if I didn’t tell you that.