Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm
Credibility is the foundation of effective leadership. Truth, transparency and candor are some of the characteristics of a credible person.
According to the Oxford dictionary, truth is defined as being in accordance with fact or reality. Transparency is defined as easy to perceive, and candor is defined as the quality of being open and honest.
Too many people within organizations play the blame game, unwilling to readily acknowledge their performance shortfalls that will eventually be discovered anyway.
Playing the shell game is for festivals, not for business. As business leaders, we’ve got to create a corporate culture in which people are expected to be open and honest with regards to performance shortfalls and mishaps.
There are many corporate cultures that don’t make it easy to admit a mistake. But then again, there are many people who lack the self-confidence and courage to come clean about their performance shortfalls. All too often, people try to hide their performance shortfalls.
This is, of course, playing hide-and-seek with the truth. This lack of truth, transparency and candor is frequently born out of a fear of failure as opposed to viewing this disclosure as an opportunity for learning and growth.
An example of playing hide-and-seek with the truth is when an IT manager is over budget on a project and unwilling to acknowledge or take responsibility for project management mistakes.
Playing hide-and-seek with the truth can occur when a controller acts defensively when questioned by the management team regarding why the monthly financial reports are consistently late and/or are consistently laced with errors.
Playing hide-and-seek with the truth occurs when a chief operating officer congratulates his management team for achieving their expense/spending plan from a dollars perspective when they actually missed their expense/spending plan as a percentage of revenue due to the declining revenue performance.
Skirting the core issue(s) is playing hide-and-seek with the truth, and it slowly drains the momentum out of an organization.
Playing corporate hide-and-seek comes in many different forms, and regardless of the form it takes, it is destructive to the overall effectiveness and financial performance of the organization. It is also destructive to the morale of the team.
The above are everyday examples of business leaders making their teammates hunt for performance problems and/or shortfalls. This is a destructive exercise that, of course, slows down progress. It also damages a leader’s credibility and the employee’s morale in the process.
Most talented employees have numerous employment opportunities, and in a society in which talented employees have an ability to choose their employer, they will choose to work for companies with credible leaders at the helm.
Leaders who understand that truth, transparency and candor are essential ingredients to creating seamless partnerships and effective collaboration will succeed at attracting and retaining the best employee teams.