1. Hader, Richard PhD, NE-BC, RN, CHE, CPHQ, FAAN

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Finding solutions to budget variances, covering the latest call out, coordinating the next educational session for your staff, consistently ensuring care quality...these tasks can easily distract even the most seasoned manager from the fundamental elements of effective leadership. Without consistently displaying honesty, trust, and the highest degree of integrity, anything you might want to accomplish will surely fail.

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Staff members will forgive mistakes on their paycheck, a scheduling mix-up, and even ill judgments and decisions. But it's a major challenge to overcome dishonesty. Not telling the truth will destroy trust and erode relationships essential to achieving success.


Many progressive organizations develop behavioral standards or values to which they expect all of their staff members to subscribe. Central to these standards is an understanding that all interactions should be based on respect for each other, with a tendency toward honesty.


Success is often achieved by the talents of a team in which trust is fundamental to each and every interaction. All members of the team need to understand that honesty and a commitment to cooperation is crucial for success. Role modeling a high degree of integrity and honesty in each and every interaction is the most essential duty of any leader.


To lead and create an authentic environment, begin with a self-analysis of your personal and leadership qualities. By clearly identifying your own strengths and improvement needs, you're in a great position to turn limitations into opportunities. Knowing your own abilities will keep you genuine with yourself and allow you the ability to further develop as a leader and a trusted and respected mentor.


It's imperative to never attempt to minimize your limitations by misrepresenting yourself. All of us have constraints and gaps in our experience and performance. Colleagues, peers, direct reports, and your boss will garnish a higher degree of respect for your work if you're truthful about your past performance and experience, your position on issues, the objectives that are necessary to achieve, and your thoughts and intentions for progress. Failing to be transparent produces a shroud of distrust from those with whom you work, which will ultimately impede your success.


A leader's work can only be achieved with the successful performance of the team. Even if your intent isn't to be dishonest, it may appear that way to your staff members if you take sole credit for their work. Have you ever been in a situation in which your boss takes the acclaim for work that you completed? This exchange probably sparked anxiety-even hostility. When presenting work accomplished by others, it's vital to share the recognition and ensure that each team member receives credit.


It's also imperative for you to be honest when evaluating the performance of your team members. During the appraisal process, you'll do a disservice to your staff members if you aren't direct and honest regarding their skills and contributions. If someone isn't meeting established standards, it's only fair to highlight positive contributions in addition to performance opportunities.


All of us get consumed with the challenges of our everyday work environment. To ensure that success is mastered each day, you must always be truthful and forge positive relationships with all of your constituencies.


As the old saying goes, "Honesty is the best policy."


Richard Hader

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