Great Leaders Build Trust Through Transparency and Honesty
At the heart of Leadership Accountability is trust.
Trust is more than the leader being held accountable for doing what they say they will do. Trust also means the leader will make decisions based on what is best for the entire organization, its customers, and the world we live in.
Great leaders build trust through transparency and honesty. They are willing to explain the reasons behind decisions. They are also willing to acknowledge when they do not know the answer or solution to a problem.
Long gone are the days when leaders should never exhibit weakness or vulnerability in front of their team members. Doing so does not cause staff and direct reports to question or doubt your leadership skills. It causes them to see you as human, and as someone struggling with some of the same issues and concerns they are. It is archaic and utter nonsense to think otherwise.
Without a doubt, leaders need to be strong and exhibit resilience, especially during a crisis situation or in particularly difficult and trying times. Such exhibition of strength and displays of resilience will be appreciated and admired by your team members when you and your team are facing enormous challenges and demanding situations.
However, there are appropriate situations and times when, in a positive and forthcoming way, and with the right audience, leaders can admit their vulnerabilities, blind spots, uncertainties, and weaknesses.
In doing so, great leaders become trusted by their followers. Such trust enables followers and other team members to be more willing to raise problems and concerns with their leaders, allowing problems to be dealt with sooner when they are more manageable.
Without trust, no aspect of your leadership philosophy, leadership mindset, or leadership behaviors matters. Without trust your leadership philosophy, mindset, and beliefs are simply invalid and unlikely to be accepted by others.
This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats and has over 1000 quotes on leadership from global business leaders, statesmen, athletes, coaches, sages, and philosophers.