It pays huge dividends.
Beyond that, leaders who practice HNL tend to possess the following five characteristics.
Many leaders are confident in their abilities, and for good reason: They’ve made it to where they are, and they think that they must be doing everything right to have gotten there.
So they get overconfident and stop learning. They stop trying to improve. They stop being curious.
The leader who stops learning is doomed to fail.
Effective leaders understand that the world is not static and never will be. It is always moving and always changing. They know that if they don’t adapt, they’ll go the way of the dodo bird.
Rather than resting on their laurels, they look at every situation as a learning opportunity. They’re always trying to gain knowledge, skills, and information from other people. It makes them more prepared for their next challenge.
At one point or another, most people have worked for bosses who keep them in the dark. The company’s finances are hidden from view, there’s no visibility into how decisions are made. New initiatives and expectations seemingly spring up out of thin air.
We’ve been there, and it sucks.
Effective leaders understand that this approach is counterproductive.
Effective leadership is all about transparency. It’s about showing you’re authentic by being humble and unafraid to expose your own shortcomings.
By simply admitting your mistakes, you’re creating an environment that encourages direct reports to take risks. And that’s the recipe for innovation—and a culture in which you retain employees and keep them engaged for the duration of their time with your organization.
Phrased another way, showing that your transparency creates an atmosphere in which motivation is heightened and productivity starts to thrive.
One of the most aggravating things an employee will come across is a leader who thinks their way is the only way.
This mindset speaks to their own insecurities. Folks like these simply can’t admit that someone else might have figured it out better than they had, and that approach essentially dooms the organization.
Over the years, a countless number of lower-level employees have come up with game-changing ideas. Who knows how many of those ideas never saw the light of day because of someone’s ego and authority?