Contributed by Colleen J. Payne-Nabors of www.colleenjpayne.com.
Leadership is neither an art nor a science, rather a combination of both. It is an art form because it must continually change and evolve, requiring energy and creativity. And it is a science because there are certain essential principles and techniques required to become a good leader.
Management positions give you the power to make decisions, but this power does not make you a leader. It makes you merely the boss. A good leader empowers, motivates and inspires others to reach a common goal. Anyone can manage, but leading requires transparency.
Transparency is the ability to clearly see the relationship between oneself and one’s environment. Transparent leaders know their strengths and weakness but, above all, know who they are and how their actions impact the actions of others.
Here are some tips on developing into a transparent leader:
- Share Information
- Convey Your Principles and Beliefs
- Be Trustworthy and Reliable
- Listen to Your Inner Voice
- Admit When You are Wrong and Learn from It
If you want the people who report to you to be engaged and working for the good of the organization, you must share information and expertise that would be most appropriate and effective to build the trust and commitment needed for positive change in the organization.
Convey your principles and beliefs to others to increase the value those people can promote within the organization.
People’s expectations of leaders are usually rooted in the basic interpersonal operation of the leader-follower relationship, where personal connections are made through trust, reliability, care, and appreciation.
Transparent leaders are confident with their leadership decisions and
strategies and are true to themselves. They listen to into their inner voice and adapt their leadership plans to each situation.
Authentic leadership is what people want to follow and trust, as a leader you want to be trusted by the people you lead. Transparent leaders are willing to admit mistakes so they can address problems. If your goal is to have a team of employees who genuinely want to follow you, as a leader you must acknowledge the reality of each situation, good and bad, so that together you and your team effectively respond to the bigger issues of successful leadership.
Transparency is an easy fit for women leaders because it allows them to use the social and nurturing skills which are highly developed in most women. Transparency reveals the character of the leader and informs others of the integrity of a person; transparency removes the need to hide and allows a shift to authentic leadership.
Transparency in leadership only builds trust and loyalty. Transparent leaders engage the passion of their employees and leverage their commitment to deliver on the core values of the organization—a win for all employer and employee alike.