I’m fifty pages into The Transparent Leader and am so far enjoying it and learning from it.
Transparency seems to the business buzzword du jour and this book is maximizing my understanding and appreciation of what transparency is and how to infuse the culture of transparency in all aspects of a business.
The author, Herb Baum (current CEO of the Dial Corporation), makes his case that sustained success in today’s competitive and ever-networked environment is dependent upon businesses, business leaders, and business employees being open, honest, and forthright about everything.
On page 47, he sums up all the recent opaque business dealings by writing:
“In the eighties, there was a bronze desk statue that was popular with some executives – it displayed three monkeys covering their eyes, mouth, and ears.
The caption beneath the monkeys read: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil.
It was a sign of the times, in an old corporate landscape when what you didn’t hear or see didn’t exist, and what you didn’t say couldn’t get you in trouble. But times have changed!
Today it’s all about seeing, saying, and hearing. Turn on any news channel and you’ll see plenty of examples of executives who didn’t see the things they should have, didn’t say the things they should have, and didn’t hear the things they should have.
They learned the importance of seeing it all – even when it’s not good news – but they learned it too late.
By the time they figured out how essential it is to be transparent and cultivate transparent employees, their own employees were being investigated, their documents subpoenaed, and in some cases their companies shut down.”
Herb’s* lucidity is illuminating … eh?
* Tammy Kling should probably get the credit for the smooth writing as she is Herb’s writing collaborator.