I used to know a guy.

He died at an early age from cancer, four years after his wife died from cancer.

Because of the nature of his story, it went into a book.

A really good book, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. More than that, it helped me grow.

Through our quirky world of social media, this author and I became the vaunted Facebook friends.

Yes, that means we’re close. /sarcasm

Through the random postings of this Facebook friendship, I discovered that the author actually had family pretty close to where I live and made the occasional trips to these parts.

I asked if he would be willing to meet. He said yes.

He was very kind. He offered free advice on the world of publishing and was very gracious.

A few months ago, he rolled out a new product. He also messaged me on Twitter about being in the area. I suggested we meet if he had time.

Crickets ensued.

Not a big deal, although I thought it was weird that he had messaged me and then went dark but figured he probably accidentally messaged me.

Then I messaged him about his new product with some questions that I had. I also offered to swap him 30 minutes of his life for a free cup of coffee.

He told me that he had to decline the offer for coffee.

Which is fine.

No, really, I think if it had ended there we would have been good. But, of course the conversation went on. He told me that his time was his most limited resource and that he could serve me best by coaching me that would be great.

Here’s my question, do you believe him that he wanted to meet for coffee but couldn’t?

Can I be honest?

I’m not sure if I do.

Not because I think he intentionally lies.

But because I think we’ve conditioned leaders to say this type of thing. We’ve made it so leaders can’t tell the truth.

“The truth is I don’t really want to meet with you, but I will be happy to sell you my product” just doesn’t go down as well for most people.

We’ve created an agreement that dishonesty is better because it’s kind.

I’m not sure I agree.

I think it’s worse. I think most people can handle the truth.

Am I making too much of nothing? I could be.

What do you think?