I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more readily I attribute “stories” to others’ behavior.

Whether someone is driving aggressively or having a disagreement in a busy restaurant, my stories try to make sense of what I’m seeing. My stories explain the cause and effect based on my observations and assumptions. The problem is that my stories are founded on maybe 5% reality and 95% pure invention!

If my stories are mostly invented, they are not beneficial. They’re not based on facts – they’re based on my assumptions.

I might think that my stories don’t cause anyone any harm. They’re usually happening entirely in my brain. I might sometimes share my explanation to others, but mostly it’s entirely internal.

The reality is that my stories might well cause harm. You see, I trust my stories. I make decisions based on my stories.

The problem is that my flawed logic leads me to – and act upon – inaccurate conclusions. I’m not consistently basing my plans, decisions, and actions on proven facts.

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I share how to make certain that you’re basing your plans, decisions, and actions – at home or at work or in your community – on proven facts and truth.

If facts and truth are difficult to attain, I must toss that story, that assumption, that belief.

This is episode 61 of my Culture Leadership Charge series. Each episode is a short (two-to-three-minute) video that describes proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, companies – and even homes and neighborhoods.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube and my iTunes channels. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

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How careful are you to ensure you base your plans, decisions, and actions on proven facts – as best as possible? Share your insights or questions on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers: Good Comes First (2021) and The Culture Engine (2014).
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Reader Interactions


  1. Robynn Pease says

    Hello Chris, This video – Those Pesky Facts – reminded me of the importance of employee engagement surveys to help leaders understand the organizational climate.
    As you mentioned, a lot of damage – employee disengagement – can occur as the result of basing policies and processes on informal observations and assumptions about employee behavior, motivation, access to resources and productivity.
    I wonder how many organizations take employee surveys seriously; I wonder how many organizations use employee survey data to improve employment engagement and retention.
    Do you have any examples?
    Thank – you.

    • S. Chris Edmonds says

      Thank you, Robin – I appreciate your line of thinking and questions!

      Too few organizations – and leaders – take engagement seriously. In 2016, Gallup found 53% of global organizations measured engagement (https://www.decision-wise.com/truth-employee-engagement-measurement-practices/) – but engagement has not improved in 20 years (not significantly).

      TinyPulse just released their 2019 Employee Engagement Report – and the results are not pretty. Employee loyalty is suffering! Here’s the link to the report: https://www.tinypulse.com/2019-employee-engagement-report

      When leaders pay attention and measure engagement and the impact leaders have on the employee experience, it can be sobering – but it can inspire changes that improve engagement, service, and results!

      Who does engagement well? The WD-40 Companies is a standout. Ritz-Carlton does very well, too.




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