The current market has taken a shift for the IT leadership. Gone are the days when information about leaders and their practices was a preserve of the top and mighty. The shift in the digital divide has literally changed goals posts. People have information about their employers, companies and products just a click or a tap a way. The advent of mobile technology, the internet and related services such as websites, blogs, and social media platforms have created a great disruption from what society was like before this shift. Transparency has become the new standard for everyone; government, businesses, and institutions among other entities. Values that companies hold and how they shape the business culture as well as productivity are no longer secrets-they are now very important to customers, employees and other people and often affect how decisions are made.

Transparency could have been driven by the desire and hunger in people to know! People often want to be in an environment where they are safe to think with much clarity. They are no longer after environments where they are not sure how things will work and how leadership will react given there is no transparency. The leadership therefore has the challenge to eliminate the unknowns in the organization that creep in the minds when decisions have to be made. Employees want to see reward for truth; they want to be part of the organization sharing in the vision (knowing where the company wants to go). Employees and customers just want to know that leadership is genuine and that they not only act on knowledge (using the head) but also use wisdom (the heart) to handle situations. Is transparency scary? Maybe not! There are benefits to transparency leadership. Let us take a look at some of the benefits:

1. Faster, and better handling of problems
Problems are bound to be there in any organization or even in families. In an environment of trust and common good will, every problem shared wisely is halfway solved. There was a time when my institution was facing eminent lay off due to low revenues and worst still, eminent closure if the revenues continued to dwindle. Thanks to the leadership who were always transparent (but were now scared), the problem was shared. Many volunteered to use their social media platforms to invite more students to the institutions as well as access the alumni to raise funds for pertinent projects. By the end of the drive, the institutions had achieved more than they would have achieved within a very short duration of time. Imagine if they had chosen not to share and remain as top leadership-probably the institution would have been closed. At the end of the day, we were closer than before the problem with even greater momentum and more common good will.

2. Easier, faster and better cohesiveness in teams
Transparency is the best unifier for any unit; the family, an institution, a business and even a government. It is like ‘us’ against the rest of the world. Members often go a long way in trying to find out ways through which their ‘team’ can keep moving to better heights as it is for their common good. Leadership would do well to share whatever strengths the team has; this way the team feels strengthen, rejuvenated and vibrant. When the weaknesses of the team are shared by the leader, there is often a desire to see which way those weaknesses can be turned into strengths. Opportunities shared can easily be exploited while the threats facing a team would often be faced with a brave face. From the story shared above, there was more team spirit by the end of the crisis.

3. Authentic relationships
Transparency allows for authentic growth of relationships. Take for instance a team of four; each is different in character but complements each other and are off to do a task. Although they did not know each other and were from different levels in the organization, they were able to work above their expectations with trust and authenticity. Each of them was accepted because of who they were and there were less tensions and more productivity. Problems often tear teams apart but they can also be used to build cohesion.

4. Promotion of trust in the leader by those led
When a leader has been closely working the team and they are now facing dark moments; there is always a tendency for the team to defend him. This is both amongst themselves and before others as they consider him their own.

5. Greater performance
When the above four are combined-you get greatest exploration of potential that leads to greater performance.

Clearly in today’s ever changing business environment, attention to details in your leadership is critical for growth and success. There are challenges we will all face as individuals, as well as a brand, whether it belongs to you or the business. Follow our blog for the next post by our leadership team to provide further insights and tips.