Creative Leadership

End Runs? Don’t Do Them

Last week I was in a meeting with Michael Solomon, former Chairman of Lorimar Telepictures (the largest TV production and distribution company in the world at the time), and then President of Warner Brothers International Television.  Now he’s the founder and CEO of the online Christian network Truli.  We were meeting at his house with a friend discussing an idea for a new TV program. At one point, the friend had a concern about a previous production relationship and wondered if it was worth going around them and using another company. With Michael’s long experience in the media business, I was fascinated with his answer:

“Don’t do end runs. If you go around people – for whatever reason – sooner or later it will catch up with you.”

In the case of our discussion, the producer wasn’t interested in lying. He just didn’t want to disappoint the previous producer. Likewise, in most cases, we don’t outright lie, but we often either withhold the truth, or s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth to avoid confronting someone with news they probably won’t like.

The lesson:  When you deal with people – both personally and in business – learn to be honest, even when it’s a message they don’t want to hear.  Along that line, Michael ended the meeting with a line I’ll never forget:

“Honesty may hurt someone for awhile, but a lie will hurt people forever.”


Does your experience confirm or deny this?

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  1. My experience: I must say that there is a big difference between my experience in the Christian community and the Jewish community. (and this is a generalization – there are always exceptions). Somehow in the Christian community it seems that there has been a value placed on ‘nice’ So as long as you are nice- that trumps honesty. (I don’t think of Jesus as being particularly ‘nice’ but that has gotten into the psyche of the American Christian culture). I consider myself a very forthright person, but generally find that within the Christian community that aspect of my personality is not embraced too much. In fact I bear the scars from these very ‘nice’ people who betray you with a smile and a kiss. (lol- am I sounding bitter- just very disappointed). Conversely in the Jewish community, honesty trumps ‘nice’. I feel much more at home and comfortable knowing where I stand even when it is negative, at least you can address it. It is also an east coast west coast thing.

    Michael Solomon – Mishpochah. On board with you.

  2. I had the pleasure of having a long dinner with Mr Solomon & a few friends before a meeting in Dallas. I was impressed how he treated everyone, including how very nice he treated the waiters. I agree, honesty, especially with tact is paramount in treating everyone.

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