Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


The Transparent Leader

Volume: Mid-October 2010

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com


Transparency is an oft used word these days. Tossed about by politicians and business-folk alike, the term transparency is rarely defined by its users and seldom supported by salient examples. This newsletter takes a quick look at transparency as it pertains to leadership. 

First of all, how do we define the transparent leader? The dictionary offers an array of answers, but I like this one: “Open, frank, candid.” I will also add the traits of consistency and predictability. So for our discussion, the transparent leader is defined as: A person who is open, frank, and candid, and leads in a consistent, predictable manner. Now that we are clear on the qualities that a transparent leader possesses, let us take a look at the types of actions that transparent leaders commonly practice

  1. They are very clear about what they and the organization are trying to accomplish. The transparent leader clearly communicates the mission of the organization and why it matters. 
  2. They succinctly state how the organization is going to accomplish what it sets out to do. The transparent leader lays out the strategy and supports why it will be effective.
  3. They show how they are going to get people behind it. The transparent leader communicates the roles that team members play and why those roles are critically important to the success of the organization and the team members.  
  4. They lay out direction. The transparent leader crafts a compelling vision for the future and frequently communicates milestones that are accomplished. In addition, the contributions of team members are frequently recognized and acknowledged as positively moving the organization forward.  


Bottom Line: Being a transparent leader builds trust, and trust is the cornerstone of effective leadership. When team members trust that their leader will be open, candid, and predictable, they do not have the distraction of leadership inconsistencies. As a result, team members can focus on their tasks and goals. In other words, the organization is clearly focused on the greater mission. Transparent leaders help their teams achieve more, with less stress, and fewer distractions. 


Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. He is also the author of Leadership Simplified – THE Field Guide for Savvy Leaders.  Doug’s audios and videos are also available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about consulting services, coaching, and training, or to have Doug help your team work together better, contact him today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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