That’s one of the messages that Ken Blanchard highlights in his work with senior leaders.
Blanchard underscores the idea that leadership transparency is a key element of success in today’s organizations. That’s because transparency gives employees a chance to see the “person behind the position” in their organization.
This willingness on the part of leaders to share a little bit of themselves helps to build trust and confidence in a powerful way—and it encourages others to share information about themselves as well. The result is greater openness and stronger bonds throughout the organization.
3 Ways to Be More Open
For leaders looking to be more transparent with their people, Blanchard recommends three steps:
- Identify your beliefs about leading and managing people. Who are the people that have influenced you in your life? Most people think about traditional and famous leaders first, but the reality is that parents, teachers, and other important people in our lives are the ones who have usually influenced our thinking the most. Given what you’ve learned from past leaders and your core values, what are your beliefs about leading and motivating people?
- Share your leadership point of view with others. How can you communicate what you believe and how it influences your behavior? When you share your leadership point of view with your direct reports, they will not only have the benefit of understanding where you’re coming from, but they’ll also understand what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.
- Think through how you will set an example for your people. Your leadership point of view lets others know how you will set an example for the values and behaviors you are encouraging. We all know from personal experience that people learn from behaviors, not from words. Leaders must walk their talk. Developing a leadership point of view creates a clear path for you to follow. Now you need to walk it.
Openness and transparency are powerful signals that a leader can be trusted and followed with confidence. How transparent have you been? Do people know where you are coming from? This three-step process—identifying your values, sharing them with others, and demonstrating them on a daily basis—is a great way to start!