Transparency vs. Clarity: One is Necessary for Good Leadership, One is Not

Transparency vs. Clarity: One is Necessary for Good Leadership, One is Not

“Hi, my name’s John. I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m the new CFO here at the airline.”

“So f–ing what?”

That’s the beginning of how a senior airline executive learned to put employees first in their leadership communication.

My guest this week who shares that story is Gary Ross, who started his career as an Emmy-nominated TV news reporter. He then led the communications departments at Hyatt Hotels, CDW, and Fortune Brands. Today he’s a trainer, coach, and consultant for CEOs to help them tell their stories better and inspire their people.

We work through several of Gary’s most important leadership communication lessons, including the difference between Transparency and Clarity. It turns out one of those things is an absolute necessity for leaders. The other is not. Click the play button above to listen to our conversation and find out which is which.

  • 1:00 – Being an Emmy-nominated TV reporter
  • 2:55 – Running Inside Comms consulting
  • 5:30 – Learning the value of putting employees first – Gary tells the story of an airline CFO getting cursed out by a production worker for bothering him on the job
  • 8:30 – how he put that lesson to work later as the CEO of CDW.
  • 15:08 – Articulating the difference between Transparency and Clarity.
  • 19:00 – Why meeting someone without anything to offer is just wasting their time

You can find out more about Gary and his work at

Click these links to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher or Podbean.

Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling, a keynote speaker, and bestselling author.

Connect with him via email here. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Sign up for his newsletter here to get one new story a week delivered to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *