Why Honesty Is The Best Leadership Policy

Nicole Seligman is a writer and advocate born and raised in Austin, TX. She believes in Sisterhood and good hair days. Nicole writes about personal style and growing up on her blog writes like a girl. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Traditionally, directors of companies and organizations led with the belief that the least amount of transparency would gain the greatest amount of respect. While this style of hierarchy is intentionally exclusive, it can create a barrier to success for the entire team. Choosing honesty over secrecy shows that you respect the people you lead enough to keep them in the loop. Here are a few ways being honest can benefit your leadership skills.

As an authority figure: A leadership role with levels of people below you is a major responsibility. Not only are you responsible for making decisions and saving face after a public mishap, but you have a responsibility to be true to your staff. If the company receives recognition for its hard work, be vocal about your gratitude. When your organization faces a difficult time or unexpected change, being forthcoming about your fears and insecurities will boost overall morale because your staff will feel solidarity instead of separation during this trying time.

As a mentor: The purpose of a mentorship is to help someone learn from not only your victories, but also your mistakes. The teachers we have the closest connection to, both in and out of the classroom, are those who make a point to be on our level. When describing your journey up until this point in your career, don’t leave out the important moments where you declined an opportunity, ate off the dollar menu, or felt paralyzed by the unexpected. We’ve felt lost at some point, so validate your mentee’s experience instead of sweeping your own under the rug.

As a natural leader: In your own life, you’re a role model to those around you. In your daily interactions, friends, coworkers, and people on the Internet are all looking to you to know what is next. Whether you’re supporting a cause or starting a new job, people are counting on your insight more than your success. Sometimes we say yes to an opportunity we shouldn’t have or we make a tough life transition. Communicating openly about your experiences helps you grow and encourages others to shake things up a little, even if they are scared to take the next step.

As a blogger, my honesty has not only gained a following, but has given me the support I often need to feel confident in my leadership abilities. For every leader who is struggling with making a connection with their group or their readers, try a little honesty.

Today’s post is the first of the SOS Leadership Austin Leading Ladies’ Blog Series. The purpose of this blog series is to share the stories and insights of women who are answering the call to leadership in their lives. Come back each Friday to read more!

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