INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Nothing’s more transparent than when someone’s not being transparent. It violates trust and makes it hard to commit to anything with that person. Yet, as I share in my new LinkedIn Learning course, The Best Leadership Lessons from the Worst Bosses, bad bosses continue with this cover-up behavior as if nobody notices.
But they do.
Avoid this dynamic and instead turbocharge trust with “The Window of Transparency” – five strategies for staying true and transparentin ways people can clearly see:
1. Share information. Bad bosses believe the more information they withhold, the greater their power. But they aren’t exerting control, they’re just keeping people from doing their jobs. Why would anyone give their all for a boss who hides, hoards, or won’t take the time to share information?
2. Be transparent about why you made a decision. Otherwise people assume ulterior motives. When explaining your decisions, be direct, truthful, and respectful.
3. Be transparent with people about where they stand. It’s never easy to tell someone something they won’t enjoy hearing about their performance or perception. But it’s a core responsibility as a leader; you owe employees the truth. You’d want to know where you stand, right? Odds are, they’ll appreciate it at some point, even if not in the moment.
4. Be open about your shortfalls. Be honest about what you’re not good at, ask for help improving on that front, and surround yourself with people who offset your weaknesses.
5. Know that hidden agendas rarely remain as such. Having a hidden agenda, or a desire to accomplish something through manipulation, that’s different than the agenda on the table, usually doesn’t stay hidden. It only takes one little slip for the true intent of someone’s actions to come out.
So, look to the Window of Transparency to ensure people are seeing the right things about you, versus seeing right through you.
And check out my new course, “The Best Leadership Lessons from the Worst Bosses,” here.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake I’ve made)
One of the most unhelpful things you can do to yourself is to not let go.
Ask yourself, “What am I not letting go of, that’s not serving me well?” Perhaps it’s:
– a limiting belief
– an unjustified fear
– a grudge
– the past
– a toxic relationship
– an instance you were “wronged”
I struggled with the last one. I wrote for a major magazine, building up over 2 million monthly readers, then was unceremoniously dumped, along with a cadre of other writers, when the publication hit financial challenges. I felt wronged. Bitter. It took me far too long to get past, “It’s not fair.” But when I did, it led me to the publication you’re reading now. One that I can put my heart and soul into with maximum control and minimal interference.
So, let go. Let yourself heal. Let more happiness in.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
As a leader, it can be challenging to ensure the troops are consistently focused on the priorities they should be. To help, try the Rule of 5 Method for checking on priorities, used by Joel Spolsky, the co-founder of Trello. Establish with your team that you’ll regularly want to hear from them on 5 things:
· Two things they’re currently working on
· Two things they plan to work on next
· One thing people might expect them to be working on, but they aren’t actually planning on doing
This simple method is great for confirming current and future priorities, and avoiding well-intended, but misdirected prioritization. Give it a try.