Pete Rose, whether you like him or not, shares a truth hidden under the controversy of who he is. We can all learn from this.
“The last time I texted Alex is when (Yankees GM) Brian Cashman told him to keep his bleeping mouth shut and play baseball. I met Alex more than a year ago. He was wrong, there’s no question about it. He talks about old timers in baseball. He talks about Clemente and Aaron. He loves this history of the game. I think he’d be the first one to tell you he screwed up. And if he doesn’t, he’s not telling you the truth. My advice to anybody listening is: don’t do like I did, don’t do like Alex did or do what Braun did. Don’t do like any of those guys did. Don’t lie if you are confronted about something that you made a mistake. The faster you come clean the better off you are going to be.” - Pete Rose
In this case, Pete was a big liar and there are plenty of other liars in baseball around steroids. But Pete is now emphasizing honesty and forthrightness. His wisdom (the “hindsight is 20/20” kind of wisdom) is that the path to gaining loyal followers faster is to be honest about your failings. People are forgiving by nature. As long as you do not have a history of abusing your relationships, you will be forgiven and you will be able to move forward in your leadership position.
It is so hard to follow this advice because of two reasons, one obvious and one not so obvious. The first reason: skirting the truth happens so often that it can look normal, and has conditioned us to take the appealingly easy road (in sum, it is in fact, the harder road). The second, not so obvious, reason: we are afraid to tell the truth because it means we have to live up to a higher standard from that point on, and we subconsciously fear that. Yes, it is the harder work, but once you get back to the truth, it is a more powerful and enjoyable road. Frankly, holding on to a lie risks others discovering the lie, and your trust as a leader gets compromised.. In this case, everyone ends up losing. For most things, the truth eventually is found out. So, why not be honest and use your time on this earth well by being on the path that you were meant to be on?