Honesty is the best policy, says former Continental boss

01/4/2010 | NYTimes.com

Communicating openly and honestly with your employees is the key to good leadership, says Gordon Bethune, who served as CEO of Continental Airlines from 1994 to 2004. Bethune used daily updates and weekly voice mail messages to keep his employees up to speed -- and he says he never sugarcoated his messages. "You don't lie to your own doctor. You don't lie to your own attorney, and you don't lie to your employees," he says. "And if you never lie, then when it hits the fan, and somebody says you're wrong -- you can say, 'No, I'm not,' and they'll believe you."

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