The Power of Transparency

Honesty and related 3d words including sincerity, believability,

Transparency is desired by employees and feared by management. There is a belief that being vulnerable, stating our goals or challenges to others will result in embarrassment or lack of respect from employees. The opposite is actually true. Why do we say that goals are important to write down? It’s simple – if we fail to document our goals we tend to lose sight of them. The same is true for transparency.

Recently I attended an event where David Scott-Thomas of the Speed River Track and Field Club spoke and was impressed by how he used transparency to run his business and ultimately to assist his athletes to success. In fact, that morning he made a commitment to his audience by stating how many Speed River athletes he was training that would participate in the next Olympic Games. Did he take a risk? Yes, however, this will help his team by holding himself and them accountable to his goal.

If you are leading an organization, the more transparent you are the more trust you’ll garner from your management team, employees and even your customers. Transparency allows us to share our processes and intentions. This assists others better understand where we are coming from, even if they view the circumstances differently from us.

I’ve encouraged clients (Business Owners, General Managers and Executive Directors) to share with their employees the company goals, strategy and rationale for decisions for a number of reasons:

  • It makes the team aware of the goals of the organization. In addition, providing authentic reasons for these helps employees to better understand any constraints.
  • It holds all levels of the organization accountable to their process.
  • You’ll gain respect being direct and trustworthy.

I challenge you to be transparent in your work – let others know what’s most important for the organization and the rationale.

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