The Transparency Edge

Pagano, Barbara; Pagano, Elizabeth
September 2006
Transparency Edge - Business Book Summaries;2006, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
In his foreword, Stephen Lundin (coauthor of Fish, Fish Tales, and Fish Sticks) notes that change agents worldwide have rewritten the rules of change and motivation, and initiated massive cultural revolutions, in hundreds of organizations, in the process. This transformation can only be fueled by a natural energy, inspired and maintained by transparent leaders who build credibility through uncompromising honesty, composure, real vulnerability, open dialogue, keeping commitments, sincere encouragement, and their grace and humility. As the scandals surrounding Enron and others have shown, leaders can violate these rules of integrity for a time, but eventually they must bear the consequences. Thus, while market performance may still, of course, be critical, these violations have caused a fundamental shift in what it means to be a true leader. In other words, in order to be successful today, leadership must now be a marriage of equal partners-performance and credibility. Understanding this new imperative, more and more organizations are becoming ardent in their search for ways to put some honor back into business. The Transparency Edge stands as a practical and effective tool in this endeavor. Pagano and Pagano's credibility through responsible transparency-"a sort of 'what you see is what you get' code of conduct"-is a compelling answer to the question posed by Kouzes and Posner in (The Leadership Challenge), "What does credibility look like behaviorally?" The behavioral approach offered in The Transparency Edge parses the concepts of transparency and credibility down into nine actionable tangibles and, thus, adds an essential, practical dimension to the concept credible leadership. A plethora of things "to do" (self-assessment surveys, checklists, etc.), which essentially turn The Transparency Edge into a basic workbook, are offered to emphasize the lesson that transparent leadership is a relationship of service to others. And, they demonstrate that this kind of relationship does not spring fully formed from one's score on an assessment survey but must be forged through the personal connections made via a process of unremitting trust, reliability, care, and appreciation. Provocative case studies show how dedication to this process can result in the transformation of an organization's culture-one which drives the kind of performance that leads to bottom-line results: hardworking, collaborative employees, improved public relations and branding, and increased speed and innovation.


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