There isn’t now sufficient transparency about why certain difficult decisions are made and with people really understanding how those decisions were reached. I think a lot of it is driven by fear, without an appreciation that transparency is actually a root to better decision making. But by being transparent, you’ll be more trusted, even when you get it wrong.
Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome Trust and member of SAGE, speaking of how the UK Government is making and communicating decisions around the pandemic to the public.
Trust is core to any relationship. Trust is and will be core to any politician or business in leading in and through the VUCA environment of emerging from lockdown. I’ve written several times in the last three weeks around the need for and gaps in trust between governments and their people, particularly where I live right now (the UK).
So, the phrase above really struck me as powerful. It comes from an interview on Friday May 22nd by Alan Rusbridger published in Prospect Magazine, which opens:
It feels as if the whole of Jeremy Farrar’s life has been a preparation for this crisis. A leading epidemiologist, he has been thinking about diseases, viruses and pandemics for most of his career. He is director of the Wellcome Trust, which funds a huge amount of scientific research. And now he sits on the government’s Sage group of scientists offering advice (not always taken) on how to navigate the unprecedented crisis we currently face.
So, clearly a highly credible interviewee. In the interview he makes some deeply important and anchoring points that are also sobering and often tough to read. I encourage you to read the whole piece on Prospect.
As my writing is centred on leadership though, today I simply anchor on and encourage us all to live by his phrase:
By being transparent you’ll be more trusted
Originally published at Tom McCallum.