Transparency – Leadership is a Choice #47

Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.


In most cases this blinking cursor is my friend – full of possibilities and wonder as it leads my thoughts from sentence to sentence, enticing me to go further. Today this little, blinking black line is the enemy.

It is a constant reminder of a self-inflicted ailment called writer’s block. The worst part of my blinking friend is that he scares me. I haven’t run out of things to say or lessons to share – I don’t even know if you could call this writer’s block. Instead I sit here with numerous ideas and stories that I want to share but for the first time in 100 blogs I am scared to share them.

When I first started this journey I remember a few different people tried to warn me that my level of transparency could return negative things upon me. I ignored this warning convinced because even if something negative happened in response to my transparency that it was ok because I was standing for what is important to me.

Transparency is a non-negotiable. It is how I choose to live and practice my personal responsibility. Transparency helps me stay accountable to me. It is the idea that someone else out in this big massive world knows I am practicing that helps drive me. Even when I know no one is ever going to call me up and say – “Hey I read your blog how’s your practice going?”

Transparency helps me keep my integrity at the forefront of my mind. Knowing what I am doing in any context is something I will be sharing with someone – a boss, a peer, a team member or a blog reader – drives me to always do my absolute best. And when I inevitably eventually fail, transparency helps me to not dwell on the shame of the mistake, but instead to start looking for the lesson.

The warnings I got came true. I have shared over the years a few stories of how blogs have come back to bite me. Whether it was a company or an individual what I have learned is that no matter how clear I make my words I cannot control how others read and then interpret my writing.

Full transparency – I wish I could control it.

But I can’t.

I also can’t force anyone reading to remember that these writings are for me! My transparency isn’t an attempt to help anyone else. I used to be convinced that they could do that, but what I have come to realize is I can’t actually help anyone else with my blogs what I can do is empower, inspire, and equip someone to help themselves.

My stories, my life on paper, can remind someone that they aren’t alone out there – even if we never speak. They can shed light on a different approach to situations we all go through. Even with all of that they are still written for me, about me.

Getting back to my little friend the black cursor – he scares me right now because my transparency has translated for some into their own stories, and these interpretations are so far from what I wrote it makes me fearful to write another word.

All of this fear has got me thinking about how we fall below the line. There are countless triggers from fear to pain, anger, and internal and external evaluation.

I write about how I am or was below the line and how I got through it. Someone reads that and something in my words triggers something for them (fear, anger, pain, evaluation) and they fall below the line..

That’s ok! We ALL do it! Remember this isn’t about being some perfect responsibility robot, above the line 100% of every day. Instead it is a life journey of awareness. Before you choose to react to the words I write for me, do you know where you are mentally?

Can you become aware of the island you are on and process through it (you are more than welcome to process through it with me) before you take action?

We are a reactive species. We are beautifully brilliant and complex and our minds process so much so fast that when a trigger is hit we immediately want to respond (this is how I think I function at least). The biggest lesson I have learned, and hope to share through my journey, is that personal responsibility, freedom, and choice don’t have much to do with mastering your mental states, but instead mastering your reactions – more importantly the speed in which you react.

There was a day when, armed with my computer, a blank word document, and my music, I believed I was invincible. A situation would happen and I would have half the blog written in my head before I even left the room.

Though my beliefs about transparency haven’t changed my speed to put it out there, my approach, and the way I communicate have begun to evolve. What truly scares me in this evolution is allowing it to take place without losing who I am.

I am loud, blunt, straight-forward, and obsessed with producing to the highest of my ability. I push, pull, and walk-beside those I am working with. I believe every person out there (not just the ones who read these) deserves a life of true freedom, personally responsible for their reality, and living completely at choice.

This isn’t easy, we are talking about life altering reprogramming here. Take the feeling you get when your computer asks you to restart. You immediately get frustrated because you didn’t save that document or don’t have the three hours it takes for it to fully come back to life. Now take the number of years you have been on this planet and imagine no one has done a reboot since you were born. This journey you are on or thinking about going on is a lifetime reboot.

We may even get part of the way through and have to start over. It’s ok! It’s your journey and your reality – celebrate where you are in the moment and let go of the fear that I had when I sat down to write this. (What will people think about or do knowing I am on this path?)

What others think of you isn’t your problem – it does not define you, only you can do that and this journey is the best tool out there to take full control back of that definition.

I am taking back full control of the cursor and my words. My words define me – not how people interpret them.



Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of nonprofit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.


Posted in Leadership on 04/17/2016 03:35 am
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