Honesty and Love?

March 2011, by Brian Molitor, CEO of Molitor International

The Awaken Group is excited to introduce Brian Molitor, CEO of Molitor International and one of our Creative Collaborative partners. For nearly 30 years, Brian has worked in the field of organizational development, human resource development, and strategic planning. He has worked all over the world, working with a wide variety of customers—from small companies to Fortune 500 companies. The one constant for Brian has been the joy of seeing people and lives transformed with some simple principles and simple truths that are communicated in ways that people can assimilate and then apply right away.


The Awaken Group and Brian Molitor came together for the Creative Collaborative due to shared aligned values, respect for each other’s visions, and simply because we thought it would be enjoyable to work together.

We asked Brian Molitor to share with us some of his experiences and perspectives around one of The Awaken Group’s core beliefs, “honesty in love” and how he has applied this to his organization over the years.

Concept of honesty (truth) in love
Some people question whether honesty (truth) and love can coexist. It may seem as though if we are going to be honest, then we are not going to be very loving. Or if we are going to be loving, then maybe we don’t have to be, or shouldn’t be, honest. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

Honesty (truth) and love go hand in hand

In our work, we spend a lot of time working with executives doing coaching. We also spend time doing organizational surveys, where we are trying to find out “the truth”—we try to learn the truth about a particular organization.

  • Example of applying honesty in love:
    In an organizational survey of a company, for example, you want to conduct a very in-depth and thorough research (e.g., interviewing 5,000 people face-to-face) of the company, so that you will not end up with just a snapshot of what was going on in the company, but rather an x-ray that reveals the inner workings of an organization. You may find in the end that some things are really good, some things are not very good, and that not every employee is happy about certain aspects in an organization. What is the purpose of this research? The purpose is to communicate the truth of what’s going on within the organization, regardless of whether the insights are inspiring or even discouraging. If you don’t communicate the truth, then there was no point to the research. But we have to communicate the truth in a way that does not break people down. I have learned that people are generally doing the best they can with what they have and what they know.

Truth and honesty, combined with love, are very powerful concepts.

It works in all areas of life. In our organizational and leadership training, we often ask people what characteristic they most admire in others. One of the top characteristics is “honesty.” But usually, people only like honesty until someone says something that hurts or offends them. So it’s not just honesty [that people care about].

In so much of life, there are marvelous concepts that have to be blended together. I can’t think of two better ones to blend together than honesty and love. This is a concept we definitely want to embrace as leaders at any level; we want to be truthful because that’s part of integrity, but we want to speak the truth and share honesty, in love. It’s a marvelous way to live life.