Leaders Take Off your Mask
Most leaders particularly at senior levels — CEO, chairman, and board level — try and project an image of perfection. This is because they consider perfectionism as a badge of honour. The important thing to realize is that perfectionism, an attribute driven by the fear of failure or making mistakes, doesn’t necessarily translate to doing good.
In this article, I explain why dropping the mask of perfectionism and embracing your imperfections is a better approach you can adopt as a leader.
Ponder on these lines ‘ When you are a leader, you are the captain and you have to guide and direct your players. You’re a role and a part of the team; not a title. If you feign perfectionism and display arrogance, you lose respect and your title means nothing.’
Well, imperfections are a part of us that make us human and interesting — an aspect we all have in common. However, a few leaders rather than embracing their imperfections try to conceal it. However, this projection of perfection creates a disconnect from your people and we explain why.
People know you’re imperfect anyway so when you candidly accept your imperfections, they know you’re honest as well. In other words, it is all about authenticity and humility and the respect you gain by being real and humble. When are free from pretence and real, you gain respect as a leader. Accepting your vulnerabilities and shortcomings is also a sign of strength and wins the trust of your people in the long run.
Leadership is all about your influence on others. It’s about getting people to follow you. And when there’s a connection between what you’re saying and doing, your people start paying heed and walk in your footsteps.
When you genuinely lead others, owning your imperfections and learning from mistakes, it is more likely that people around you will do the same. Unknowingly, you create an organization of people who aren’t reluctant to say they don’t know, and who are prepared to ask for help or feedback upfront when needed. They are willing to experiment with the new, make mistakes and learn and grow in the process. And, of course, these are the organizations that outperform all others over time.
So, the simple solution for leaders is instead of trying to project an image of perfectionism it is better to try and try and perfect the craft. Driven by achievement, this approach ultimately helps organizations become more agile and scale to new heights.
Alvina Clara, Content Writer, emQube