Companies need to keep some things secret to maximize their competitive advantage -- but if firms are too secretive, they risk a "Snowden effect" in which people will start to see them as untrustworthy, warns Dana Theus. The key is to identify which secrets are genuinely essential to your business and to be as transparent as possible about everything else. "[T]he most important starting point is within each leader himself or herself, and that is to overcome the personal fear of losing power by sharing information," Theus writes.

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