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Tag Archives: Leadership Brand

Water with text over it that says Is Transparency Part of Your Leadership Brand?
Background image by kalhh from Pixabay

When you think of a leader, what qualities do you picture? Do you picture someone who is competent, confident, and a good speaker? Do you see someone who can fire up the room and motivate their team? Or, perhaps, do you picture someone who is data-driven and brainy—someone who’s gears are always turning?

While these are all worthy leadership traits, I believe one crucial leadership component is consistently overlooked: transparency.

Without transparency, it is difficult to cultivate trust (for more on trust, read this past post!). People begin to wonder what you’re doing in the shadows, and question why decisions are made.

Being a transparent leader, means being honest. It means being yourself at all times (though sometimes you may be a more formal version of yourself, while other times you may be a more casual version). For a transparent leader, there is no room for being two-faced. I have found that people catch on quickly when someone isn’t being candid or is telling two versions of the same story to two different groups of people.

Another aspect of the transparent leader is courage. It takes a good deal of guts to be honest with your team when things are not going especially well. If performance is flagging or the company is going through growing pains, don’t hide those difficulties. Instead, engage your team and encourage them to become part of the solution.

Transparent leaders communicate. They keep an open-door policy, and welcome any feedback, thoughts, or opinions…even if some of what they hear is negative or critical. In fact, this kind of constructive feedback is exactly what an organization needs to grow and improve. Transparent leaders make others feel comfortable approaching them—they cultivate a spirit of mutual trust.

Take a moment to ask yourself: How transparent is your organization? How transparent are YOU? If your personal transparency needs a little work, take action!

  • Start talking to your co-workers. Be as candid as possible AND be a respectful listener.
  • Encourage feedback. Schedule one-on-one meetings to gain feedback and then ACT on sound suggestions or ideas.
  • Be vulnerable. You’re not perfect, and it’s okay for others to see that.
  • Facing a crisis? Don’t try to hide it. Be open about the company’s issues, and work as a team to solve them.

When you become an open and candid leader, a lot can change. You may find your relationships with team members improve, workplace culture becomes a little more open and honest, and you feel less anxious about having to hide business difficulties from your co-workers. In the long term, your transparency will hopefully encourage others to act in kind, which will eventually foster an open and communicative work environment.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
NOW LIVE: CHECK OUT MARGARET’S NEW ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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By Margaret Smith, UXL:
SPEAKER | CAREER COACH | CERTIFIED INSIGHTS DISCOVERY PRACTITIONER

There isn’t a single specific trait that makes you a great leader. Instead, there are many different traits that make a person a good source of guidance, encouragement, and direction—and every leader embodies their own unique combination of strengths.

“Every leader has a particular style of leadership that is innate. However, the behaviors, attitudes, or methods of delivery that are effective for one staff member may in fact be counterproductive for another,” says MSR Communications Account Supervisor Michael Burke.

What Burke is getting at here is embodied in an important question: Are you aware of your own leadership style, and do you make an effort to learn how this style actually comes across to your team?

Before you start to consider the traits of a great leader, make an effort to examine your own special brand of leadership. Below I’ve listed some of the top leadership traits named by leadership professionals—look for traits that currently represent your style, and use these traits as a reminder of what you’re all about at work and in life!

  • Honesty
  • Focus
  • Passion
  • Respect
  • Persuasiveness
  • Confidence
  • Clarity
  • Care
  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Collaborative
  • Empowering
  • Fearlessness
  • Compassion
  • Shared Visionary
  • Engaging
  • Self-Aware
  • Genuine
  • Flexible
  • Supportive

Need help discovering your leadership brand? Contact me today to learn about how Insights Discovery and Career Coaching can transform your career and your life.

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