Home Pastors Articles for Pastors When Do Leaders Cross From Honest Transparency to T-M-I?

When Do Leaders Cross From Honest Transparency to T-M-I?

Being an authentic leader is hardly negotiable anymore.

People want to see the real you, with your weaknesses, mistakes and vulnerabilities.

You know that, because you’re watching the last fumes of the ‘never let ‘em see you sweat’ leader vaporize into the stratosphere.

But you’ve also seen the pendulum swing the other way.

You don’t want to be the ‘oversharing’ transparent person on your Facebook newsfeed whose every emotion, relational struggle and moment of self-doubt is posted for the planet to gawk at.

How do you become appropriately transparent?

How do you find that fine line between being too revealing and being too reserved?

Why you need to show your weakness.

Before we get into how to be an appropriately transparent leader, let’s ask a key question: Why do people need to see the real you?

Here’s why:

People admire your strengths, but they identify with your weaknesses.

Think about it. You do this.

You hear your favorite speaker and take notes that chronicle every insight.

But when he starts to share about the time his startup failed, or how he almost blew his big presentation, or how he frustrates his team if he doesn’t check his attitude, suddenly you identify with your hero on an emotional level.

You don’t just admire him anymore, you identify with him. He becomes human. And you suddenly feel like there’s hope for you.

By the way, preachers, if you don’t talk about your weaknesses in your messages, you are missing a huge opportunity for your congregation not just to connect with you, but to find hope in their own lives.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.