Transparency in leadership means keeping your employees in the loop, sharing the good and the bad (while not oversharing), and welcoming honest feedback from the members of your team.

There should be no unpleasant surprises, no concerns around uncertainty, and no wishy-washy behavior that may weaken your reputation as a leader. Transparent leaders strive to practice what they preach, set crystal clear expectations, and communicate effectively with every member of their team.

Leading with transparency requires a willingness to be honest and open with your employees, even if you feel somewhat vulnerable as a result. When employees can see and evaluate everything you do, it’s essential to lead your organization with integrity, in ways that are true to its values. In return, employees will give you their loyalty and trust.

When you lead with transparency, you set a standard for the rest of the company to live by. The importance of transparency in leadership becomes more apparent as it fosters a workplace culture of open communication and accountable behavior for both employees and leaders.

Business Impact

Build a foundation of trust and loyalty that nurtures greater employee advocacy, helping to build your employer brand.

Leadership confidence and passion for the business grows when they gain the ability to lead with optimal transparency.

Transparency drives trust; trust drives engagement; engagement drives higher performance and productivity.

‘Good news’ is more trusted, accepted and shared with others when ‘bad news’ isn’t hidden or obfuscated

Employees are more open to constructive feedback from leaders with whom they feel an authentic, personal connection.

Employees are less likely to make false assumptions about their job, their leaders or their organization.

Learning Journey


  • Self-paced reading (approx. 6 minutes)
  • Reflection exercise
Optional Enhancement
  • Brief video, internal leaders sharing their thoughts on importance of transparent leadership

Series of 3 Virtual Workshops

Session 1
Optimal Transparency
  • Bottom-line benefits of leadership transparency
  • The risks and rewards
  • “They can’t handle the truth!” (maybe they can)
  • Case study: Radical transparency at Boldare
  • 10 Bold real world examples of transparency
  • Brainstorm: Where can/should we open up?
Intersession Activity**
Session 2
Transparency Metrics
  • Tangible indicators of transparency
  • Formal transparency assessment tools
  • Informal transparency assessment methods
  • How to conduct a “transparency audit.”
  • Brainstorm: Practical steps we can/should take to open up more
Intersession Activity**
Session 3
Transparency Maintenance
  • Communicating ‘bad news’
  • How adversity can enhance transparency and trust
  • Transparency at Patagonia
  • Transparency at Asana
  • Transparency at Zappos
  • Transparency at Atlassian
  • Personal and Organizational Action Planning


  • Personal Action Planning
  • 30-60-90 Day Virtual Group Touchpoint: Action Plan Reviews
  • Design Individual Action Plan
Optional Enhancement
  • Interactive pdf Action Plan

Learning Objectives

Experienced Facilitators

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