Transparent people are open, honest, and forthright.  They have nothing to hide and are willing to share appropriately.  However, people who are not transparent are secretive and attempt to hide their thoughts and feelings.  They hold back the truth about themselves and may pretend to be something they are not.

Enemies of transparency:

Self-protection:  Fear of being known and rejected is possibly the biggest barrier to transparency.  We hide the truth and pretend to be things we are not in order to protect our feelings.

Ego:  An inflated view of yourself can drive you to hide cracks in your character or performance.  People lacking transparency have an unrealistic view of themselves.

Comparison:  When people continually compare themselves to others, they tend to hide the areas where they believe they are inadequate.  This hinders transparency and the opportunity for growth.

Transparency is a requirement for effective leadership as it forces you to check your motives and make sure they are well directed.  Leadership is 80% about you and 20% about your team.  If we want our teams and families to be transparent and humble about who they are, we must exhibit and model this positive character trait.  Hiding flaws, wearing (metaphorical) masks – depending on who we are with, and avoiding topics that expose our weaknesses are common behaviors we, unfortunately, adopt in life.  Being who we really are is the path to the greatest freedom.

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