“There is no diplomacy like candor”. –E.V.Lucas
A culture of transparency and candor is a must for every organisation.
From their vital book; “Transparency” —Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and Jim O’Toole addresses us with the vital question whether organizations have the courage to be open, honest and most of all, transparent.
The writers make us aware that claiming to be transparent is not the same as actually being transparent. You may believe in transparency without practicing it.
Warren Bennis gives us this definition of being transparent; “It means, in addition to the literal ‘capable of being seen through’, without guile or concealment; open, frank, candid”.
When companies cover up their mistakes instead of learning from them, they will probably do the same another time. Author’s; “But any time an organization makes a seriously wrong decision, its leader should call for an intensive postmortem. Such learning opportunities are too often overlooked”.
The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership, is a book written by, M.A. Soupios and Panos Mourdoukoutas. The book implements thought-provoking ideas from Aristotle, Heraclitus, Sophocles, Hesiod and others.
I have chosen rule 5; Always Embrace the Truth —–Antisthenes. Authors; “Wise leaders, the men and women who possess genuine insight about administrative life, understand that honest assessment is an essential requirement of effective leadership. However, there seems to be an inverse correlation between level of authority and level of truth. In other words, the higher up the corporate ladder an executive ascends, the less likely it is that person will receive complete and accurate evaluation”
When climbing the corporate ladder, leaders makes the distance to the subordinates to evaluate them harder. They often have their own agenda and is not always sharing their information with their colleagues. “Encouraging to whatever degree such submissiveness on the part of subordinates jeopardizes the welfare of both the organization and the leader”.
Going back to the book on transparency, and let us see what Bennis, Goleman and O’Toole have to say on this important subject. The author’s are signalizing that wise leaders are engaged and close to the actions. “There’s a compelling reason to become more open to information from people at every level; those close to the action usually know more about what’s actually going on with clients, with production or customer service, than those on the floors. ( There’s truth to the maxim, “None of us is as smart as all of us” )
Leaders who cares about a good culture in their organizations, develop a culture of candor. Author’s; “Before an organization can develop a culture of candor, it must examine the cultural rules that currently govern it. Such cultural rules run deep and they typically resist change”.
Leaders need to take action if they want information to flow freely in the organization and in that case be the one who set good examples. “If leaders regularly demonstrate that they want to hear more than incessant happy talk, and praise those with the courage to articulate unpleasant truths, then the norm will begin to shift toward transparency”.
Lead with Humility, written by Jeffrey Krames, translates the pope’s key ideas and practices into practical tactics that anyone can emulate. Krames, emphasize’s Pope Francis great leadership style as a good example for anyone who wants to connect in a meaningful way with employees, teammates and customers for their organization. “He believes that authentic humility empowers leaders like no other leadership quality. “If we can develop a truly humble attitude, we can change the world”, wrote Bergoglio before becoming pope. And he misses no opportunity to show that a person can never be too humble and that people can learn to be more humble. In doing so, he has altered the standards by which we measure our leaders”.
Here are the Pope’s key ideas;
–Remove the walls-literally-between yourself and your employees.
-Enlist your executives to join you each year at the front desk or in the delivery truck.
-Consider all points of view, and make decisions in consultation-not as snap judgements.
-Focus on enhancing people’s strengths, not fixing their weaknesses.
-Break the habit of doing things the same old way, and reinvent ineffective process.
-Communicate with everyone, at every level of the organization.
-Surround yourself with truth-tellers-no matter how painful it is to hear.
-Shake up the status quo and get out of your comfort zone.
Hope is the only good that is common to all men, those who have nothing else possess hope still –Thales
Inger Lise E. Greger, MSc. Change Management