Home > Creativity, education, leadership, Spirituality > Transparency in your personal life: an act of courage

Transparency in your personal life: an act of courage

reasoning using others' decisions to make deci...
Image by Will Lion via Flickr

Transparency was one of the stated values of our most recent senior leader in the college, and as I look back at his two-year career here, as he prepares to depart, I can see that he really lived that value area it made it very easy to work with them on any directed project, because I didn’t have to worry about is hidden agendas or behind the scenes politicking.

What he said is what he meant and because it was always focused on the good of the college¬†students, it was easy to get on board with his ideas. He was a guy who took advice carefully and sought the opinions of others before he made his decisions. He made sure to share the reasoning and processes behind his decision-making with those of us in the college, so that even if he decided against our recommendation, we felt like we had a fair shake. Research shows that that’s an important part of keeping your people satisfied.

How can we work on transparency in our own lives?

There are several dimensions that matter it seems to me: self-knowledge, purpose and courage.

We need self-knowledge to make sure that what we think were broadcasting is what’s really inside of us. We can’t be consistent in our external actions unless we really know what’s going on inside ourselves.

Purpose matters because we want to make sure that our integrated in turn the external actions are aligned with something that matters to us, such as our mission or are proposed Legacy.

Courage is involved in transparency because you have to take risks by exposing your inner workings and your purpose to the external world. Not everyone’s going to agree with your support you, there will be those who cast stones and belittle your efforts. Being transparent means exposing your true self to these slings and arrows. If you are being sneaky about your purpose and your goals, the critique of others wouldn’t be as personal because you could always tell yourself that it’s critique of the shadow face that you present to the world. Transparency puts your innermost self at risk to those who would criticize.

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