How is your transparency?

Don’t let them see you sweat. Make sure you have all of the answers (after all, you’re the boss). Tell them what they need to know — nothing more; they can’t handle it. Never admit mistakes; deflect if you can. Does this sound familiar? This was the management style that I was taught, and the mindset I thought leaders possessed.

Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to realize that people want (and deserve) authentic leadership. You want authentic people on your team, so make sure you’re leading with integrity  Here are four simple ways you can boost your level of transparency and authenticity, and likely increase trust, productivity, and respect among your organization.

  • Let others know who you are and what makes you tick (the good, the bad, and the ugly). It’s okay to admit and show weaknesses. Guess what? They already know them. When you openly admit your mistakes, your leadership stock goes up, and you remind your team that you’re human, too.


  • Communicate openly and candidly.  It’s okay to share details about upcoming decisions with no sugar coating or watering them down. Remember, the proverbial water cooler is gushing when important information isn’t shared or not all the facts are given. The water cooler wins and now you are in damage control mode.


  •  Disclose how and why you make key business decisions. Offering the team insight into how you make decisions enables them to both understand your thinking process and to learn from it. It may prepare them for better decisions.


  • Be consistent. You want to be predictable. When you leave your team wondering which side of the fence you are on today, they also wonder how much they can trust and respect you and your abilities as their leader.

Take a moment to reflect on your ability to be transparent with your team. What actions can you take to be more authentically transparent?