JS Tip 32: From the Leadership Workshops: The Importance of Honesty (Part Two of Three)

Our workshops on leadership began ten years ago when a client asked us to tailor a program for them. They said, “Working here is like working in a ‘Dilbert’ cartoon.” All of a sudden, “Dilbert” wasn’t so funny anymore.

Honesty in leadership is more than telling the truth. It’s earning trust. Without trust, leadership fails. Members of an organization will not follow someone they don't trust.

Leaders earn trust several ways. We’ll list three:

  • Doing what they say they'll do. They give promised raises and promotions. They respect confidences. They follow through on disciplinary actions.
  • Being consistent. They don’t act one way to superiors and another to employees. (Another word for this is “integrity.”)
  • Giving complete and direct answers when asked a question. No smoke and mirrors. (More on this next week.)

Once again, without trust, leadership fails. And without honesty, there cannot be trust.

This tip is the second of a three-part series on honesty in the workplace. We'd love to hear your experiences of when leadership works or fails. We may even include you in a future tip.