Why Should Leaders Be Transparent?
In a past career, I regularly utilized the literal concept of word transparency when I was involved in plastic product design and material selection. It was easy to know the difference between transparent, translucent and opaque. In the world of leadership, the figurative use of the word transparency is now a topical buzzword. As we can see from its figurative definition, its business usage began to describe higher levels of financial disclosure.
Transparency: The extent to which investors have ready access to any required financial information about a company such as price levels, market depth and audited financial reports. Classically defined as when “much is known by many”, transparency is one of the silent prerequisites of any free and efficient market.
– From the Investment Dictionary (answers.com)
Now we are hearing the word transparency as an essential attribute of management style. Is it possible that transparent leaders have become one of the silent prerequisites for efficient organizations?
Author and CEO Keith Ferrazzi believes transparency is a prerequisite for building personal power.
“Power today comes from sharing information, not withholding it.”
– Keith Ferrazzi from Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
Holding Back is So Last Century
In this Information Age, managers who withhold information will diminish their power rather than enhance it. So, how do you rate? I challenge you to go to your peers and subordinates and ask for a transparent answer to this question:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate my ability and willingness to share information?
Three Steps to Improving Your Transparency and Personal Power
If you can handle the truth:
- Dig deeper and follow up by asking about the reasons behind your rating.
- Ask how you can improve.
- Take the the answers to heart
You will then be on your way to becoming more…
Transparent: Free from guile; candid or open: transparent sincerity.
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