The Truth, Transparency, and Candor Of American Income Life Leadership

Transparent Piggy Bank Representing Transparency of American Income Life Leaders

This week’s leadership message is from Rob Gray, American Income Life Regional Director of Sales. He reminds us that building and maintaining OUR personal credibility is a “practice” all great American Income Life leaders measure on a daily basis and is the essence of superior leadership.

American Income Life Regional Director of Sales - Rob Gray

American Income Life Regional Director of Sales - Rob Gray

In today’s “business at the speed of light” pace, it’s all too easy to forget to pay attention to the details in personal commitments you make to others, being completely transparent to those we lead, and being consistent in the integrity of your character. But don’t lose sight! It is the essence of that consistency of your character that people notice – especially to those that look to you for leadership.

Personal credibility is the foundation of effective leadership. Truth, transparency, and candor are the cornerstones to how you are perceived as an American Income Life leader; and ultimately determine just how long people will follow you.

The adage “the truth will set you free” has never been more appropriate in today’s high-paced, high-pressure business arena. The “truth” is all about how you conduct yourself, for the truth should not be “spun” or “polished” in any way. Rather, the facts are delivered in a way that others can see the pure, human face of the American Income Life leader who is delivering the message.

Credibility is about being accessible to your people all the time! We all have an “invisible fence” we build to protect ourselves at times by keeping others out. Sometimes, this is appropriate. But if you don’t know how to deactivate it, you project a lack of authenticity that causes people to distrust you. Most of us tend to keep our invisible fences deactivated when we are totally at ease and feel accepted by others. But the true measure of being authentic is when we are authentic even in difficult situations. Learn to deactivate your “invisible fence” to those that look to you for leadership, motivation, and guidance. Those are the people that take the ““leap of faith”” in allowing YOU and YOUR CHARACTER to be at the helm, to guide them to a successful career at American Income Life Insurance Company.

Truth is defined as being in accordance with fact or reality. Transparency is defined as easy to perceive, and candor is defined as the quality of being open and honest. Make it your practice to build and measure your personal credibility with everyone around you. Understanding just how you’re perceived by others is the biggest asset you can have as an American Income Life leader today.

There are many corporate cultures that don’t make it easy to admit a mistake. But then again, there are many people who lack the self-confidence and courage to come clean about their performance shortfalls. All too often, people try to hide their performance shortfalls. This, of course, is playing hide-and-seek with the truth. This lack of truth, transparency and candor is frequently born out of a fear of failure as opposed to viewing this disclosure as an opportunity for learning and growth. Make it your practice to define your credibility on transparency and candor and your personal credibility will precede you!

Too many people within organizations, unfortunately, play the blame game. They are unwilling to readily acknowledge their performance shortfalls that will eventually be discovered anyway. Playing the shell game is for festivals, not for business. Skirting the core issue(s) is playing hide-and-seek with the truth, and it slowly drains the momentum out of an organization. Playing corporate hide-and-seek comes in many different forms and, regardless of the form it takes, is destructive to the overall effectiveness, financial performance, and morale of your organization. It is also destructive to the Company as a whole.

As AIL leaders, we are acutely aware that we need to create a corporate culture at American Income Life in which people are expected to be open and honest at all times. Great business leaders inspire their organization’s hunt for performance problem solutions; in an environment built on trust, transparency, and integrity of character!

AIL Leaders who understand that truth, transparency and candor are essential ingredients to creating seamless partnerships and effective collaboration will succeed at attracting and retaining the best employee teams built on a culture of brutal honesty and integrity!

I leave you to self-reflect on your integrity and character with a poem from Peter “Dale”Winbrow Sr:

The Man In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife,
Whose judgment upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one starring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest.
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed the most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

“Though I might travel afar, I will meet only what I carry within me, for every man is a mirror.”

About Mark Ting

Mark Ting is a Staff Writer at Torchmark Corporation, writing about American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies. Google+

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