For a leader, there is no such thing as “kind of” telling the truth.
If you are a leader, you are either fulfilling your personal commitment to tell someone who is counting on you the truth, or you aren’t fulfilling that commitment. If you aren’t, then accountability within the relationship and the organization you lead is impossible, because you’ve already failed to be accountable to your team coming out of the gate.
That’s the high standard that leaders of teams and organizations must meet: They’re either telling the truth or they aren’t. It’s kind of like the old joke about having a baby: You’re either pregnant or you’re not. There’s no such thing as being “a little” pregnant. It’s an absolute state. And so is being a leader who expects – and shares — the truth.