The Importance Of Honesty In Leadership

An honest leader

Why is honesty important in a Leader? Have you heard of one of the most famous and ancient phrases in the world, “Honesty is the best policy”? Well, you must have, because this phrase sums up why honesty is such an important quality. Also, I think we can all agree to the fact that honesty isn’t limited to a specific occupation or situation. Honesty is and always will be a golden rule to  incorporate in each aspect of our lives and also to live by it.

What Is Honesty? And What Are the Benefits of Being Honest?

Before we talk about the importance of honesty in leadership, let’s talk about what being honest means and what are the benefits of honesty. Honesty is considered a character trait that implies being truthful to oneself and others. It also means conducting or behaving fairly, speaking the bare truth, and not deceiving others. Honest people generally refrain from lying no matter what the situation is.

But one also needs to keep in mind that being honest doesn’t mean being blunt or rude to others and hurting their feelings. An honest person is tactful enough to speak the truth while sparing a person’s feelings. Below are mentioned some benefits of incorporating honesty in our everyday life.

  • • Honest people don’t have any guilt after speaking the truth. This is why being honest is a worthy experience.
  • • Honest people are much more dependable and have high credibility than dishonest people. This is why others trust them more.
  • • People who lie have to make up multiple stories to keep up that false story this is why telling the truth is the better option as you don’t need to manipulate the truth.
  • • The relationships that are professional or personal will last much longer if you are honest.

Importance of Honesty When It Comes to Leadership

Dishonesty leads to chaos. Don’t we all know that? We mean, look around the globe, and we can all agree to the fact that all the chaos, wars, unemployment, strikes, protests are because of dishonest leaders. These leaders have pushed regular people to the edge leading to dissatisfaction among the masses.

• Spiritual Leadership

We human beings are spiritual beings. This is why we tend to emotionally invest a lot in spiritual leaders. And that’s not all. Most people end up putting these spiritual leaders on high pedestals. But do these spiritual leaders always understand that? Sadly, the answer is no. Not all spiritual leaders understand the responsibility and the influence they have on their followers.

Some masses tend to change their profession, their regular habits their entire lifestyle based on the teachings of these spiritual leaders. This is why a dishonest spiritual leader and their wrong teachings can end up harming not just one but thousands of people. Thus, these teachings end up harming our society collectively. Various religious groups today are seeking only personal gains instead of working for the betterment of our society. This rising dishonesty has made these groups intolerant of each other.

• Political Leadership

We all need honest politicians because otherwise, the democratic system isn’t going to work out. For democracy to function effectively and smoothly, political leaders need to be transparent about the process and honest about themselves. The general masses are not experts when it comes to politics; hence honesty becomes an important criterion when it comes to choosing their proper representative.

Most leaders, therefore, should focus on portraying their honest character during election campaigns to help people make their choices easier. Honesty, therefore, should always be the most important factor when it comes to choosing a particular political party to form the government. In case people find out about any leaders’ dishonesty, they always have the power to choose a different leader the next time. And how can we forget that relationships between other countries always depend on political leaders being honest and fulfilling their end of the bargain.

• Workplace Leadership

An effective and honest leader in the workplace will always keep their employees in the loop and let them know about the good as well as the bad. Employees always appreciate leaders who talk about everything and do not conceal any information that can be communicated easily otherwise.

An honest leader in the workplace will never stray from the truth, will share all information, and be as straightforward as one possibly can be. Hedging is a bad idea when it comes to workplace ethics. Because let’s face it, it will only open doors to being dishonest and sharing hardly accurate information. However, we all know honesty and truth aren’t easy things to carry because no one wants to deliver the bad news, but in the long run, it is the best idea. Because at the end of the day, honesty is what truly works. It is this quality that will help you gain the strong support of your employees. As well as help coming up with the necessary solutions to solve any problem whatsoever.

Another important reason why honesty is important is that it helps to build trust, which is one of the most crucial elements of being a solid and good leader. Surveys have shown that one of the major reasons why leaders are unable to build strong relationships and fellowship is because of the lack of trust factor. Remember, trust is something you have to build as a leader over time by being communicative, honest, and open. Just screaming ‘trust me” won’t cut it for your employees. Because trust is something you can’t demand, you have to earn it.


People have always looked up to honest leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King for inspiration. A leader has the capability of motivating and inspiring people to rise above and achieve in life. So, as a leader, you need to value integrity and honesty so that you can achieve trust and respect from your people.

Effective leaders draft and create the way; they inspire people, hold the vision, and help others by encouraging them. They set an example by being honest and not only inspire people but generations to come.

Stay safe during this pandemic, get your PPE 

11 Replies to “The Importance Of Honesty In Leadership”

  1. Hi Diana

    Thank you for the informative article about honesty! 

    Honesty is a must characteristic in every section of a person’s life. By lying in your work, you lose a lot of credibility and trust from others and to regain their trust can be an impossible task. Thus, be honest but learn to say things in a appropriate manner and not rude. Rudeness destroys your character even more.

    Like how you described in different scenarios regarding honesty and is 100% the truth.

  2. Hi Diana

    Thank you for posting this valuable and necessary information it will help in all areas of ones life.

    You have touched on really important leadership quality here. I think there are times that the lines become blurred and leaders tend to think if they keep some info away form their subordinates it will be for their benefit but this backfires in the end and you lose trust.

  3. You’ve made good points here about the importance of honesty in leadership. I’ve worked in several different situations over the years and really see this quite clearly. I’ve had experience with leaders who were very open and honest in their dealings with staff and others not so much. When the leaders aren’t honest it can create quite a lot of tension and chaos in a workplace, making it a difficult experience each day.

    I also relate to what you say about spiritual leaders not being honest about their intentions or motivation. I recently learned about the term “spiritual arrogance” and I realized I’ve known several spiritual leaders who exhibit this. I’m not even sure if some are aware of it, but it does often lead to dishonest practices to fill their personal agenda. It certainly doesn’t lead to peace or calmness. Have you personally had dealings with spiritual leaders who had their own agenda foremost? How did you deal with it?

    1. It happens a lot, spiritual leaders  with hidden agendas. I know they are humans being and we all make mistakes, however their actions creates trust issues.

  4. Hi Diana. Thank you for another inspiring article. Couldn’t agree more that honesty is one of most important characteristic of every person and I couldn’t be friend to a person who is constantly lying. It may be beneficial in short term, but in longer period it always result in loosing trust. Also in work, leader must by honest, because you can’t build effective, strong team without trust. Nothing can ruin atmosphere in company more then supervisor lying to his employees.

  5. Hi Diana,

    I totally agree with what you have stated in the article on honesty, in general terms, those who deceive themselves or justify themselves so as not to renew the truth will never be able to be honest.

    Honesty is one of the fundamental attributes in human beings, and part of our humanity. that we are losing for example due to accepting living in competitive societies, being competitive is not something honest, being cooperative if it is.

    So we could put examples to infinity not to mention the spiritual, political, economic leaders … etc … the examples that are given on Tv education etc …

    We must go back to simplicity and be honest, if we want to have a future.

    How could you change people who are dishonest out of habit or because it is what they see around and that is what they have learned in society?

    I think that would be crucial.


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