When Building & Leading Your Culture – Be Transparent
This one is tightly related to modelling & training (element no. 3), but is worthy of its own post. Transparency leverages consistency of character.
When you’re transparent as a leader—sharing information, trust, and responsibility generously—it cultivates empathy and trust among your team. This tactic is powerful for two reasons:
First is, when you’re transparent, it’s very difficult to live antithetically to the values you proclaim as important for your culture. At some level, each one of us wants to live consistent with what we say/believe, but we all have our moments of hypocrisy or inconsistency; the places and times when our actions fall short of what we aspire to. The more open and transparent we are, the easier it is to identify our inconsistencies, correct course, and live into the values we set for ourselves.
The second reason being transparent is a powerful tactic is that it helps to cultivate grace, patience, understanding, and empathy within your team culture. When you are appropriately open about your vulnerabilities, challenges, and weaknesses, it humanizes you to your team and makes you a stronger leader. By “taking up residency” among your team in this way—i.e. being more relatable—it actually turns the conventional/traditional frameworks of power and leadership on their heads, making you a more followable teammate and leader.
This is part six in our series on "Strategies in Building A Culture That Sticks".
Find other parts here:
Part 1: Don't Just Talk About It, Be About It (Series Intro)
Part 2: Build Traction & Buy-In Through Collaboration
Part 3: Set A Deadline. Ship. Iterate. Repeat.
Part 4: Don't Leave Your Culture To Chance: Model & Train to Educate & Forge A Culture You're Proud Of.
Part 5: Follow The Bright Spots