Whenever you lead a group of individuals whether they are employees, colleagues, or any other group of people they will look to you for guidance. Therefore, you must display qualities which will inspire them and give them a behavior to emulate. Honesty is one trait great leaders typically display. Honesty encourages the team members to respond in kind. Consequently, as the team leader if you are honest there is a far greater chance your team members will be honest in their actions and behavior.
Honesty may be seen as transparency and openness- your willingness to communicate what you’re thinking or feeling, even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular. Honesty may be seen as a willingness to listen and discuss issues before the data is completely thought through, when available alternatives are not fully crystallized, and when decisions are not yet final. It may also be seen as keeping your word, following through on promises, and delivering on time.
You, as their leader, are responsible for your team of people therefore whatever ethical bar you personally hold yourself to, in a leadership capacity that bar should be raised even higher. If you display honesty in all your actions you will gain the respect of your team members. Team members who respect their leader are more willing to work together to achieve the goal or objective of the team. You should remember your team members are a reflection of you and your values and if you make honesty a key value your team members will follow suit.
Effective leadership is a complex combination of character traits (or habits) and competencies (or skills and practices) that build a relationship of trust and influence. Only when followers see a never-broken pattern of honesty in the leader, will they be able to fully trust the leader. With the establishment of complete trust, followers can then invest their energy, livelihood, and commitment into the leader and the vision and goals that they are mutually pursuing.