Leadership Transparency: How a Coach Can Help

April 18, 2017 Mary Ellen Sailer

Leadership TransparencyDo the people you work with know what you expect of them? Do they know what to expect of you? Pause, please, and really consider those two questions. If I walked into your workplace and asked your team these questions, would I get immediate answers? Would I get consistent answers? Would I get answers you would have expected?

Your Leadership Point of View

Clarifying what you expect of yourself and of others and then sharing this information as your Leadership Point of View helps you and your team succeed together. It accelerates the process of helping people learn what makes you tick and brings about greater alignment faster. Creating an intentional vision also allows leaders to demonstrate consistency between their values, their words, and their actions.

In a post entitled Leadership Transparency: 3 Ways to Be More Open with Your People, Ken Blanchard shares three ways sharing their Leadership Point of View (LPOV) helps leaders connect with their direct reports.

  1. Your LPOV identifies your beliefs about leading and managing people. Who are the people that have influenced you in your life? Most people think about traditional leaders first, but the reality is that parents, teachers, and other important people in our lives are the ones who have usually influenced our thinking the most. Given what you’ve learned from these influencers and your core values, what are your beliefs about leading and motivating people?
  2. Your LPOV reveals what motivates you. How can you communicate what you believe and how it influences your behavior? When you share your LPOV with your direct reports, they will have the benefit of understanding where you’re coming from, what you expect from them, and what they can expect from you.
  3. Your LPOV helps you lead by example. Your Leadership Point of View lets people know how you will set an example for the values and behaviors you are encouraging. We all know from personal experience that people learn from behaviors, not from words. Leaders must walk their talk. Developing a Leadership Point of View creates a clear path for you to follow.

A Coach Can Help

In working with leaders going through our Leadership Point of View program, we’ve found it requires courage and vulnerability to really think through past events that have contributed to the person you are today. A coach can guide a leader through this process—for example, to assess which stories to share and how to share them.

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of coaching a leader in the aeronautics industry. This engineer shared with me her story of being a child refugee—memories of her family leaving their communist country via airplane to start a new life in Australia. As a little girl she saw the airplane as a symbol of hope, opportunity, and the future. Until our coaching, this woman hadn’t realized the powerful connection her mind had made between airplanes and her family’s freedom! We used that metaphor throughout her LPOV, and it was extremely powerful. Her team had always seen her as a competent and capable engineer, but by sharing the story of her youth, they could see that what propelled her work was optimism and hope.

Developing and sharing your Leadership Point of View is a powerful process for creating connection. As the leader, you are sharing with your direct reports the key people, events, and beliefs that illustrate what you truly value. Consider how a coach can help you share what makes you you.


About the Author

Mary Ellen Sailer

Mary Ellen Sailer is a Senior Coach for The Ken Blanchard Companies. She is a frequent contributor to Blanchard’s LeaderChat blog. Mary Ellen received her professional coach training from Coach U, earned the Professional Coach Certification from International Coach Federation and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Organizational Development from the University of Massachusetts.

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