Why a Great Leader Is a Transparent Leader

[guestpost] I made a new friend a while back! His name is Bryan Miles. After attending a webinar Bryan did on delegating work to your assistant, I thought it would be cool if I could connect my readers to Bryan's thinking. I have found Bryan to be a teacher who has a way of making things very simple and implementable. Bryan is the CEO & Co-founder of Miles Advisory Group (a parent company to the companies of eaHELP and MAG Bookkeeping) and is blessed to run this company with his wife, Shannon. Prior to starting MAG, he worked for companies in the tech and construction industries including Cogun, a national church construction company as the VP of Consulting. Bryan blogs at BryanMiles.me.  If you would like to guest post on my blog, click here for more information. [/guestpost] When you lead others, whether that’s at work, at home, or in your organization, there will come a day when those who follow you will want you to be open and transparent with them. In fact, in today’s business climate, they’re probably going to demand it.

Those you lead are not trying to gain the upper hand in your relationships – they just want to grow closer to you.

Two successful entrepreneurs interacting at meeting

I’m not talking about holding hands and crying, or putting on some fake display of emotion. That’s the last thing I’m talking about. I’m talking about the open, pure, raw moments when you, as the leader, open up and share your heart – your thoughts, fears, hopes, issues and dreams.

It’s a fine line to walk as a leader. Since transparency isn’t always about sharing all your issues or the junk in your heart and head that you’re still processing. It’s being open, transparent, and clear with your thoughts and your thought process so those you lead will be even more enthusiastic about following you.

Doesn’t transparency equal weakness?

“But, wait,” you might be thinking – “Doesn’t sharing my thoughts and my doubts make me weaker as a leader? Will they still follow me if I admit I don’t always have it all together?”

They will – trust me. Here’s how I know:

  1. My blog is transparent. I tell you there what I’m thinking, sensing, and dealing with as a man, father, husband, friend, and leader. I constantly get emails, messages,and texts thanking me for my posts and my transparency. People hunger for the real you. Give it to them.
  2. One of the most-viewed TED Talks ever is on the topic of vulnerability by Brené Brown. With more than 15 million views and subtitles in 47 languages, this talk shows that vulnerability and transparency are important topics – ones we have to pay attention to as leaders. Her book The Gifts of Imperfection is a solid read for leaders as well.
  3. Michael Hyatt, one of the biggest voices in leadership and publishing in this decade, consistently show the personal side of who he is in his life, work, marriage, and family. He’s the real deal and people follow him because of his transparency. And – by the way – he’s exactly the same in person as he is online.

Transparency is not weakness – it is a gift!

When is the last time you shared your soul – your hopes, dreams, junk and issues – honestly with someone else?

Stop thinking that you are weak when you open up and share. You’re actually the opposite – you’re incredibly brave to let someone else in. Chances are, when you do, you’ll find someone as desperate as you are to share and connect on a meaningful level.

Industrial Age leadership principles and the “shut up and just get the job done” mindset are things of the past. Today’s leaders must be more open and transparent with their teams. Showing people the real you as a leader will be required more and more as younger employees (who had transparent parents and role models in their lives) enter the workforce.

Rip off the Band-Aid. Show your wounds. Show your heart! Be transparent.

What you’ll find is a team of people – professional and personal – who are ready to jump in and help you, walk beside you, and strive with you to accomplish great things.