Is transparency the key to great leadership?
Transparency can be difficult at times and there are many challenges in different organizations, depending on the topic and the amount of confidentiality necessary. Some leaders lack transparency and still remain at the top.
While this lack of transparency may be true for many leaders there is something about it that is disconcerting. A true leader is a leader because of their followers. Take informal leaders as an example. An organizational leader will keep the informal leaders on their good side and use them to their advantage to rally the troops when necessary.
Transparent leaders will keep confidentiality when necessary but in all instances possible will be open and honest to keep the trust of those around them. With that trust in a leader it instills honesty and trust through the trickle down theory. This establishes organizational transparency. Can you think of an organization that you truly trust?
It starts at the top!
Have you ever seen a leader that seems to change after they are placed in the leadership role. Sometimes leaders get paranoid of being a good leader and start doing things to cover up their decisions…in case they weren’t good decisions. Everyone says “he seemed like he would be a good leader, but he’s changed” in his new role.
As a leader, we need to make sure we remain confident in our decisions. We need to remain confident enough that we have made a good decision or be honest enough to admit that our decision may not have been the best while at the same time be instilling the confidence in others that we can fix this for an even better outcome.
Be a human being
People don't want to follow a mythological God. They want to follow someone who is just like them but better. If we, as leaders, make a less than spectacular decision (or a bad decision) it may send the message that we are human. Imagine that! Well, if we are fallible people will still believe in us, perhaps even more. The true measure is "were we honest about?" and "what did we do to correct the mistake we made?". That is where we build the respect back and the tolerance of our followers. And yes, maybe that means that if we make enough bad decisions that we don’t deserve to be in that leadership role. But, then again maybe our honesty, and our ability to recover, will keep the loyalty of our followers and we’ll rebound with future decisions that are right on.
At least we know we did our best and even the best leaders have their less than perfect moments. In spite of your ups and downs be honest with yourself and your followers and most likely whatever they saw in you to begin with will still make them want to continue to follow you. They have probably seen you get out of tough jams before and that may be what attracted them to you in the first place.