Open Up and Fly Right

I led a special session for the heads of a US agency celebrating its 20th anniversary. This event focused on the personal stories of the top seven leaders, attended by over 200 of their staff. The leaders reminisced on their personal motivation for excelling at their jobs, and told stories from their careers that captured both challenging moments and big successes.

After the event was over no less than 15 people, almost 10% of the audience, came up to me and said something like, “I never knew that about my boss. He or she never told us why they do what they do and I have been working for them for over 15 years. It could have made such a difference. I have been pushing a lot of paper and I could have been doing so much more.”

Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your personal motivation for your work. It inspires those who are supporting you, and has the potential to lift them to a new level of performance. Open up.


2 Responses to “Open Up and Fly Right”

  1. Seth,

    The young workforce loves authenticity. I think they demand it. Gone are the days of the unreachable, unknowable, all knowing leader. I’m going to espouse the Waffle principle.

    How much openness is too much openness?


    Leadership Freak
    Dan Rockwell

  2. What a great post on waffles! Very taoist and by that I mean, I love it. Thanks, Dan. You ask, how much is too open? Sounds like you’re worried about TMI – Too Much Information, which indicates that people are sharing beyond what is appropriate. That’s not at issue here. Rather, most leaders don’t disclose enough about their motivations. Transparency at work is always a good thing.

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