How to implement brutal honesty in your business and your life with Peter Kozodoy

Peter Kozodoy is an Inc. 5000 serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, award-winning author of Honest to Greatness, and business coach who works with organizations and their leaders to help them overcome self-limiting bullsh*t and use honesty to achieve greatness. His articles on leadership and entrepreneurship have appeared in Forbes, Inc., HuffPost, PR Daily, and more. He holds a BA in economics from Brandeis University and an MBA from Columbia Business School, and lives outside New York City with his wife and their spoiled dog.

“Honesty is like self-awareness. It’s that thing everybody insists they have it, everyone wants it, very few actually possess it.” – Peter Kozody

I had the opportunity to talk about brutal honesty in business and your personal life with Peter Kozody. There can be a fine line between brutal honesty and being a jerk. Peter had some insightful things to say about brutal honesty. I asked Peter what the difference is between being a jerk and being brutally honest. He reminded me that brutal honesty is strategic, when used strategically there’s a point.

Peter and I have both coached a lot of businesses on how to grow to 7 figures. In the hundreds of businesses that Peter has helped he has found that 99% of business problems are personal problems in disguise. Pretty brutal right?

Peter asked himself, how do you get so brutally honest with yourself that you understand your sales problem is really a confidence problem or your leadership problem is really a personal communication style problem. He found it amazing what you can learn about yourself as a leader and how it directly impacts your organization when you’re brutally honest with yourself.

But, how does one learn to be brutally honest with themself? Peter goes on to explain that honesty is like self awareness. It’s that thing that everyone insists they have, everyone wants it, but very few actually possess it. Honesty is so important, everything builds on it. Nothing happens if you’re just full of crap and lying to yourself and others.

The best method that Peter has found to help with brutal honesty is receiving brutal honesty from others. Through the power of reflecting on the honest perspectives of others we can start to change ourselves.

There are two questions that Peter suggests we ask ourselves to immediately put yourself on the path to brutal honesty:

  • Is that true?
  • How do I know?

Peter gave an example from a discussion he’d recently had with a client that said they needed to put processes and systems in place but had no idea what systems and processes or even where to start. Peter suggests starting from the beginning and looking at it with complete honesty. His assumption was that the client heard they needed systems and processes but didn’t actually ask themself if that was true. What is the business foundation? What are the customer pain points?

People often aren’t honest with themself from the beginning on what it takes structurally to turn a new company into a thriving $100 million dollar company. Is it even possible? Look at other companies in the same market, is there a revenue ceiling that they all hit? Some businesses hit a ceiling at $5 million and don’t have the right foundation or business model to go beyond that.

Are you being brutally honest about the true potential of your business and what it takes to get there?

Peter and I dive even deeper into brutal honesty and how to invite others to be honest with us. Listen into the full interview to learn more about brutal honesty and how you can best implement it in your business.

Episode Highlights:

  • The framework of brutal honesty (The two questions that will change your life and business)
  • How to practice honesty and make it a habit
  • How to create an unbeatable culture of innovation that dominates your competitors
  • How to have an open honesty policy (Earning your team’s respect and loyalty by using a simple but brutally honest technique)
  • Understanding your individual and company core values (Having an honest core values hierarchy)
  • Learn how honesty can get you to be open, vulnerable, and curious
  • Take Peter’s honesty quiz – to see where you rate!



Honesty Quiz
Honesty Quiz Results
Honest to Greatness: How Today’s Greatest Leaders Use Brutal Honesty to Achieve Massive Success

Connect with Peter:

Transcript: Download

Video Transcription provided by GMR Transcription Services.

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Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.

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