Before we dive into learning how honesty can be one of the most valuable strengths of a leader, I want you to play out this scenario where we slip into the shoes of the employee.
Let’s first begin by asking “Why would I want an honest leader?”
I’d want an honest leader because that is the only way I’ll believe that I’m being led to greatness.
I would want an honest leader because I want to know what I am working towards, what resources I have, what outcomes to expect, and then be prepared for what is to come.
I want an honest leader so I can give my best and expect honest reviews.
I want an honest leader because I want to know how much my contribution matters.
The leadership needs to be honest for me to know that I am devoting my time to the right institution.
Honesty is my safety blanket and also my comfort zone.
Honesty creates an environment where people feel protected and comfortable. This is the kind of environment where you will find productivity, innovation, and immense growth.
It is important to base leadership on these values because of how impactful an honest leader can be. We must welcome honesty into our leadership styles because only then we will be able to:
#1 Set A Precedent For The Workplace:
My experience managing ProofHub has taught me a valuable lesson that I try to carry with me every day. It is that the actions, the words, the vision of a leader impact many lives. It impacts how motivated the people are, how they take responsibility for their actions, and how they view the people around them.
Monkey see monkey do is the expression I would like to reference here. When the leader is honest, responsible, and transparent, people feel obligated to be the same way.
#2 Directly Affect The Employee Retention:
It is no secret that authenticity makes people comfortable, and people want to feel comfortable to be motivated to give their 100%. In contrast, mistrust and the circulation of false facts can lead to a toxic work environment where no one wants to stay. But when leaders withhold information, mistrust naturally follows.
Case in point, according to a 2014 American Psychological Association survey, about 25% of employees do not trust their employer. And, only half of the surveyed group believed that their management is open and upfront with them.
Solution? Sit down and help the team face facts because it is easier to relate to honest conversation.
#3 Weave Trust Into The Fabric Of The Team:
An honest leader has the greatest opportunity. It is an opportunity to shape the whole team as a workforce with integrity, honesty, and loyalty. Since you are the one setting a precedent for the team, it is easier for the employees to turn into loyal assets.
The woven qualities of trust and loyalty in the team culture help a team to collaborate better and overcome obstacles together.
Therefore, we establish that the trust we put into our team yields more trust and loyalty in return.
Additionally, the dedication to honesty will also enable better customer relationships and promote customer loyalty as opposed to struggling with retention.
#4 Break-free From The Fences You Built:
Being honest is a liberating experience for a leader.
With so much worry and stress, you end up having too much burden on your shoulders. When I share my worries and the challenges with the team, I feel a lot better. I feel like I am more prepared, and definitely more supported.
Honesty, when practiced at the workplace, helps build unbreakable bonds that help everyone collectively move forward and upward.
To Become An Honest Leader; Practice Transparency
So, we know honesty and loyalty is a give and take between the leader and the employee. But where to begin? How to apply this in real life?
Start with transparency.
- Be clear about your expectations of the employees.
- Give people the total scope of the project.
- Communicate the positive and the negative about the results of the said project.
- Provide extensive feedback that highlights both, the good and the bad.
- Give them access to all the information and resources they would need to do their jobs.
These are the things I try to implement in my leadership style. How about you? Do you also feel that honesty is something every leader should possess?