The Significance of Honesty in Wholehearted Leadership

Wholehearted leadership

Wholehearted leadership is essential to any successful business, and being honest with yourself and others is vital to becoming a wholehearted leader. Wholehearted leadership leads with integrity while fostering authenticity and makes decisions based on thoughtful core values. In addition, an honest leader builds trust and fosters positive relationships with those they lead.

What is wholehearted leadership?

Brené Brown, Ph.D., conceptualized the idea in her 2012 book “Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead.” Wholehearted leadership is about being the absolute best and most authentic version of yourself and engaging with your teams with courage, compassion, and connection. Dr. Brown states that the only choice is “engagement” and that we need to be “all in.” 

Being honest with yourself

When you’re honest with yourself, you’re better able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, values, and motivations. This self-awareness is critical in making decisions that align with who you are and what you stand for. When you’re in tune with yourself, you’re more confident in your abilities and less likely to compromise your values to fit in or please others. This level of authenticity will help you build a strong reputation and gain the respect of those you lead.

Being honest with others

Being honest with others is also critical to wholehearted leadership. When you communicate openly and authentically, you create a culture of trust and respect. Dr. Brown learned an essential principle of clarity and having hard conversations that changed how her staff operates: “It’s simple but transformative: Clear is Kind. Unclear is unkind.” 

The ripple effect of being clear plays out in setting clear expectations, not gossiping, and not offering partial truths as a form of protecting feelings. As a result, people will follow a leader they trust and respect, and they’re more likely to feel engaged and motivated when they understand the reasoning behind decisions.

Wholehearted transparency

Transparency is a form of honesty because what you see is what you get, which creates a positive work environment and builds trust within a team. Transparency around your goals and expectations will better equip team members to work towards and accomplish the objectives. With open, honest communication about challenges and setbacks, it is more natural to work together to find solutions.

Wholehearted integrity

Wholehearted leaders lead with integrity and make decisions based on their values and principles. They consciously act in the best interest of their team and the organization. When you lead with integrity, you build trust and credibility with your team and stakeholders and create a positive reputation for yourself and the company.


Being honest with yourself and others is essential to becoming a wholehearted leader. When you’re self-aware, communicate openly, and lead with integrity, you create a positive work environment. If you’re interested in developing leaders who lead with their hearts, please contact me at Tom Flick Communications today.