What Is Transparent Leadership - How to be a Transparent Leader

What Is Transparent Leadership - How to be a Transparent Leader

Transparent leadership becomes more and more important in workplaces. With transparency, the company and organization will be more successful. However, some people still do not understand much about it as well as how to be a transparent leader.

In this post, I would like to share with you the importance of transparent leadership with some aspects that a transparent leader should have. Check them now!

What Is Transparent Leadership

Transparent leadership is a fair, open, and honest relationship between employers and their staff. To be more specific, it means that the employer always shares and helps their team members update the latest information freely. Plus, a transparent leader is also open to receiving suggestions and ideas from other members.

Transparent leadership - DSers

Importance of Transparent Leadership

Why is transparent leadership important? Transparent leadership is essential for almost all relationships. Here are some aspects to explain why this characteristic is important for a leader:

Strong Trust

Transparency leads to the highest trust between humans. If your members feel that you are an honest and open leader, they will trust you. In that way, they will put all their effort into the task that you give them.

Strong Trust - DSers

In particular, team members are also satisfied with their job and willing to tell you what they are thinking about if there are any unexpected problems in the workplace.

Effective Cooperation

Transparent leadership is a great way to develop more relationships in the workplace or outside of it. Moreover, transparency, when combined with the willingness to admit success and failure, helps businesses reach the highest level of organization. As a result, all employees can comfortably ask for support and corporate openly.

Talented-Employees' Retention

A workplace that has transparent leadership is supposed to keep talented employees for a long time. Employees always want to be able to distribute their efforts in a company that is honest and open.

Talented-Employees' Retention - DSers

For instance, many big companies with transparent cultures, such as Netflix, Heineken, etc. have a large number of long-term employees. They do not have the intention of leaving and are willing to work as long as possible.

Aspects of a Transparent Leader

You know, transparency is very vital in any circumstance. Therefore, it is time to gain more knowledge about the aspects that a transparent leader should have. Keep reading and do not forget to take note of useful things.


A transparent leader will have honesty as a characteristic. With them, honesty when sharing is always more important than everything else. Sometimes, people think that we may not need to be too honest with bad news, but it is better to know everything than to keep it secret.

Honesty - DSers

Furthermore, a good leader also has compassion and sympathizes with hurtful truths. Even if they do not feel comfortable answering questions or doing something, they are willing to share that feeling with their partner instead of avoiding it.

Openness & Accessibility

It is easy for a leader to receive a lot of criticism from others. They will not ignore any suggestions in the workplace if they are transparent, even if these criticisms make them sad.

Just open all opportunities to hear all feedback from employees and partners. And, of course, remember to change negative things to positive ones. In that way, you will earn their respect. Furthermore, you have a better chance of resolving problems early on.

Asking & Sharing

Asking & Sharing - DSers

Do not just answer what the employees ask you! A successful leader will know how to ask developmental and constructive questions for their business. Besides, do not skip any sources of answers. A transparent leader will use these questions as a chance to interact with others.

Not Afraid of Challenges

When confronted with problems, many people seem to avoid facing and solving them. They are afraid to say what they will do or what they think, especially when it comes to telling their boss. As a consequence, great ideas might be lost!

However, a transparent leader may bring some changes to this situation. They are not afraid to raise their suggestions with others, even those who are in higher positions. They share solutions and begin to fix issues with actual actions.

Making Decisions with Others

Besides listening and sharing, transparency is also reflected in making decisions together. Many studies demonstrate that more people involved in decision-making are often more correct and have firmer commitments.

A transparent leader will understand who should be involved in the decision-making process and how to involve them. Moreover, a great boss also gives their partners more options to choose from, not just the idea that he or she thinks is correct.

Transparent Leader Best Practices

Being aware of transparency from knowledge is not enough. If you want to be a transparent leader, you should change yourself now with actual actions. In this post, we will share with you 10 things that help you have transparent leadership with others.

Show Respect

You will receive respect from others when you show the same attitude towards them. Besides, these staffs are individuals who work with their efforts every day to make your company more successful. Therefore, whether you are the boss of them or not, simply show equality to all the people that you meet.

Place for sharing

As we have mentioned, a good leader is willing to give their employees chances to raise their ideas and suggestions. So, the first thing you should do is to create a space where everyone feels comfortable discussing ideas.

The tip for you is to schedule a meeting in your workplace or simply a dining occasion once a week.

Tell the Truth

Telling the truth will ease your mind and make everyone more connected. No matter it is bad or good news, just let all members know about them. In addition, it seems to be an opportunity to listen to others' feelings as well as their solutions.

Listen Carefully

Listening carefully in communication is an aspect that a transparent leader should not miss. Moreover, show your honesty with eye contact while talking to others. Show your sympathy if there is bad news because no one wants it to happen.

Let all the members feel that you treat them fairly. Talk with them not only about work but also about themselves, such as their demands or career. Your members will trust and feel you are a transparent leader if you connect with them.

Set Goals

Do not forget to set a goal for all members to achieve. Plus, keep tracking and updating the progress toward them. Make sure that everyone agrees that the goal is suitable and understands the positive result after that goal is accomplished.


A good leader always knows that the activities between departments are a way to connect staff. These activities are also opportunities to get people to know each other better and have wonderful moments in the workplace and outside.

Clear in Reward-punishment

As a leader, you should be clear when deciding to reward or punish any staff member. In detail, tell them the reason why you want to reward or punish that person. As a result, they will feel that you are a fair employer and believe in your decision!

Admit Failures

It is hard for a boss to admit their failures. However, we cannot avoid mistakes at work. Instead of ignoring them, you should admit them and try not to make the same mistakes again.

Furthermore, be open about your failures and experiences with your employees because it will help them know you better.

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To become a transparent leader, you should not keep some things secret or try to sugarcoat the state of the company and the team. Provide the information to let all staff members be aware of what is happening.

If you do that, your members will be well-prepared and not be surprised by unexpected problems.

These are all things that you should change about yourself in the workplace. To help you understand better, let’s see 5 examples of transparent leaders for you.

Examples of Transparent Leaders in Real-life Business

In this part, there are 5 people who are well-known as transparent leaders in big corporations. Keep reading and see who you know!

Aaron Levie: Co-founder and CEO of Box

Aaron Levie, the Co-founder of Box, holds a meeting with all 150 of the company's directors once a week. They discuss the aspects of their business that are doing well and the problems that are suffering during the meeting.

Aaron Levie: Co-founder and CEO of Box - DSers

He also creates an open communication line on the state of the company to help team members understand why some sectors of the company are suffering and why the leaders require more assistance and resources than others.

Yvon Chouinard: Founder of Patagonia

Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia's creator, led the company for more than 40 years and is a good example of transparent leadership. He is willing to take the initiative in order to bring about genuine change.

Yvon Chouinard: Founder of Patagonia - DSers

The Footprint Chronicles, which showcases the environmental implications and production procedures of all their items, is one of their many ambitious and honest projects. They keep their employees, customers, and the rest of the world up-to-date on their development.

Julia Enthoven: Co-founder and CEO of Kapwing

As the CEO of Kapwing, Julia Enthoven isn't shy about sharing anecdotes about the difficulties of starting Kapwing in Silicon Valley. She wrote about co-founder conflicts and resolution on their company blog, as well as what it takes to hire staff in SF, seed funding suggestions, and more.

Julia Enthoven: Co-founder and CEO of Kapwing - DSers

She also said that being honest about the reality that her professional life hasn't always been smooth has helped her earn more recognition, respect, and money.

Mathilde Collin: Co-founder and CEO of Front

Mathilde Collin: Co-founder and CEO of Front - DSers

Mathilde Collin's weekly all-hands meetings with the board of the company. The company's OKRs are then sent to everyone in the organization, with feedback from her direct reports, and progress is recorded in a weekly update email. Everyone in the company is kept informed about the company's big goals, which helps maintain a cohesive focus on what's vital.

Carolyn Kopprasch: Chief of Special Projects of Buffer

Carolyn Kopprasch: Chief of Special Projects of Buffer - DSers

Maintaining high levels of transparency in a remote-only firm like Buffer is difficult, but Carolyn Kopprasch has made "default to transparency" one of the company's three values.

It entails keeping everyone informed about workplace discussions on Slack and providing regular updates on target progress. The company publishes all staff information, particularly their salaries and performance.

Final Words

We believe that you understand the importance of transparent leadership after reading this post. In addition, if you want to be a transparent leader, do not skip the 10 things that we have mentioned above. All members always desire to have a workplace with happy, transparent workplace!

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