Chapter 2 Honesty and Integrity Speaking Openly and Walking the Walk


Many business leaders share the perception that the less employees know about the company—such as financial information, internal and external challenges, goals, recruitment efforts, and so on—the better.

The reason, some believe, is that sharing too much undermines confidence in the firm and its leadership.

I believe the opposite is true when it comes to creating heart culture, and I think it takes a great deal of confidence to be open and honest. While some leaders may interpret complete authenticity to equal weakness and vulnerability, what they don’t realize is that people—whether it be employees or your clients—appreciate hearing the facts.

Especially in the financial services field, in which market volatility keeps everyone on their guard, it’s important for leaders to consider sharing more information than they are used to for the sake of building trust and loyalty.

This philosophy is further supported in the book Getting Naked: A Business Fable about Shedding the Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni1. There’s a powerful theme there about how being honest with clients and employees encourages confidence and support.

So how can a leader maintain stability while sharing information that may be sensitive or that may not always be positive? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but the ...

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