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4 Steps for Leading With Honesty and Openness

In my 14 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve seen many times that open, honest, vulnerable leaders see largest results than those who unchangingly want to look like the smartest or most powerful person in the room and don’t communicate from the heart.

As aspiring or new entrepreneurs squint to set foundations for growing their businesses, they shouldn’t expect to lead as the sole people who employees rely on for wisdom, direction, and decision-making. Instead, they should aim to be unshut to distributing peccancy and validity to other smart, hard-working leaders, managers, and individual contributors. Sure, there is value in entrepreneurship in stuff a rugged individualist — I’ve seen these types superintendency tightly well-nigh their organizations, employees, and customers. As businesses grow and leadership responsibilities wilt greater, however, I’ve moreover seen many struggle to ask for help.

That’s why those who can’t transition from the “genius and a thousand followers” tideway goof increasingly wontedly than those who can let go and trust in other unconfined people. And the surest way to build that trust is to be an open, honest, and vulnerable leader. 

The Value in Transparent Leadership

Leaders who recognize the value in seeking help, engaging others, embracing criticism, and understanding that mistakes are inevitable plane for themselves indulge members to speak increasingly freely and teams to workshop and rencontre ideas collaboratively. We all have to work nonflexible at stuff open, honest, and vulnerable in our communication.

Although a select few of the entrepreneurial leaders I’ve had the good fortune of working with have shown intrinsic skills for vulnerability-based trust and transparent communication, for most it comes without a lot of learning and nonflexible work. Remember that it’s all well-nigh trust and having the valiance to let your oversee lanugo and be real, raw, and human with your employees. The pursuit steps can help leaders lead with openness, honesty, and vulnerability and encourage the same tideway throughout their organizations:

1. Stop saying interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are “soft.”

The first step in raising a increasingly transparent, raw, and real leadership style is to truly believe that leading this way matters. That sounds obvious, but I’ve seen many leaders dismiss vulnerability, genuine caring, constructive communication, and transparency as “fluff” or “soft skills.”

But saying something is a “soft skill” might make others think that it’s unimportant, or not as important as other “hard” skills. You want activities and policies that modernize trust, liaison skills, and team health to be top priority, and you want everyone on your team to take those activities seriously.

As you invest time, energy, and money in developing your own interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, you will signal to others that it’s a valuable and important endeavor. As you build yourself up, others will come withal with you, and you will vamp the right people to help your merchantry grow.

“Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.” – Lee Iacocca

2. Read with your team and work together to meet the standards those books set.

If you want to learn increasingly effective leadership skills, you have so many resources that can help. Start with some spanking-new books on the subject. My recommendations include Patrick Lencioni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead,” Gino Wickman and René Boer’s “How to Be a Unconfined Boss,” Dr. Henry Cloud’s “Integrity: The Valiance to Meet the Demands of Reality,” Kim Scott’s “Radical Candor,” and Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul.”

Reading these books on your own can be beneficial, but really only to you. If you read them with your colleagues, however, you can bring increasingly firsthand and sustainable improvement. Assess yourselves versus the standards these books set, and commit to latter the gaps you identify.

3. Remain teachable and reach out for help.

Entrepreneurs once know the value of stuff good and eager learners. Consider, however, that stuff an unlearner is equally important. And it can be increasingly difficult to master. Without towers resolute habits over time, it can be nonflexible to transpiration them or prefer new ways of thinking on your own. That’s why it’s important for entrepreneurs to focus on keeping their minds unshut and not getting set into single paths or ways of doing things.

Remain flexible and teachable. I’ve found that if you do finger you’re stuck in a one-track way of thinking, reaching out to others is the weightier way to get out of the rut. Other entrepreneurs and leaders you squint up to, leadership coaches, therapists, spiritual leaders — specifically where and from whom you find what you need will vary, of course, but the point is that reaching out for help is never a bad thing.

4. Practice valiance when it comes to tough conversations.

Part of stuff a unconfined leader moreover ways stuff straightforward with the bad and the ugly — not just the good. Letting someone go considering they’re not the right fit, telling employees they’re underperforming, or any other number of difficult conversations take a lot of valiance to unhook openly and transparently.

But unconfined leaders serve others whilom themselves, and it’s important to remember that sharing negative feedback is the only way to help people make progress. Just remember that any feedback worth sharing will be rooted in data, and data should be the suburbanite of the conversation. Data cuts through egos, biases, and opinions to help you make the smartest decisions. Deciding on feelings vacated will only tear lanugo your points and pollute the environment with distrust. Transparent conversations based on facts, on the other hand, will lend to an unshut and honest culture.

With the towardly tools at heart and the right mindset, I believe that entrepreneurs and growth-stage leaders will see unconfined success leading honestly, openly, and with a newfound trust in their teams and themselves.

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