Photo above: The Hertford Bridge in Oxford, England. Used by Permission. © Tom Ley 01302 782837

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Cor. 12:9).
One of the great truths of Christianity is that faith without works is dead. The same principle applies to the relationship between humility and transparency. Humility requires an “open window on the heart” commitment to transparency. How can we be humble unless we confess our sins, weaknesses, failures and fears to others?

As Rick Warren states, we are only as sick as our secrets, and when we retain our weaknesses we deny the world the benefit of our experience in managing the trials and tribulations of life under the guidance of the Lord. The absence of transparency is especially damaging for the manager, as our weaknesses are eventually exposed in one form or another through the inevitable march of armor piercing our everyday life experiences and events. We pay a high personal price for the absence of transparency as the use of image management creates a fertile ground for self-condemnation and burnout. Managing as if we are in complete control and possess all the answers, requires a tremendous amount of energy. We become alienated from God and ourselves, as we are ruled by a prideful spirit of works that severs the link with the life giving vine of teamwork and sharing the burden. The love and joy that provide passion and energy dries up, and we are in the desert.

The absence of transparency inhibits problem solving, decision making, growth, character development and managing change. When we repress negative information about ourselves, it creates a climate of distrust in which other employees engage in image management leading to managing by fear and risk aversion inhibiting creativity and innovation.

One of the pernicious effects of an absence of transparency is compassion fatigue, as self-absorption reduces our time, motivation and ability to help others, which is one of the key means for freeing ourselves from this psychic prison. When we are more concerned about our image and how we are viewed by others, most of our energy is devoted to maintaining the fa├žade of control, and very little is left for others. The antidote for this poison is to confess our weaknesses and lack of self sufficiency before the Lord and ask for His help to cease from our labors and embrace God’s plans.

Once you are transparent before the Lord, begin to share your problems with trusted others and receive ministry. Gradually expand the scope of your candor to the larger workforce as led by the Holy Spirit. Others may occasionally use your weaknesses against you, but the benefits of transparency far exceed the cost as God will move in mighty ways to honor your trust, thereby providing more opportunities to testify as the Apostle Paul did, that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

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