A lot of my blogs start as questions. It seems the more I try to get a better understanding of leadership dynamics the more questions I ask. I am also more aware of things happening around me, as I lead and see others do the same.
I wish I were that smart, but of my blogs are a result of my failures as a leader. Thus they translate to “notes-to-self”. If you look at the number of blog posts here, and here. You might, “be thinking what a jerk!” Loser maybe.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes and one of the things that my mistakes as a leader have taught me is that I’m yet to make more mistakes.
Leadership is not only about managing resources but also, more importantly, about moving people forward. Moving people forward means interacting with them.
Great leaders understand interaction to mean connecting with their team and other people beyond a superficial level. A leadership tool that most leaders shy from is being vulnerable.
Leading change is about leading people. Leading people is about connecting with people the only way you can. Authenticity is key in connecting with people.
There’s a fallacy that leaders are or need to be perfect. The truth: no leader is perfect and they never will be. Sadly some leaders became leaders with this belief and now that they are leaders, they realize it is not true.
Despite this, they want admiration and put up the ‘perfect front’. Leaders shy from being honest about who they are and their shortcomings because they think they need to seem perfect to be respected.
The truth: vulnerable leaders are more respected than the ones who act as if they’re perfect, yet they’re shortcomings are visible.
Some leaders try to hide stuff because they have stuff to hide. Integrity involves transparency. It is one of the pillars of leadership. Sometimes leaders keep everyone at a distance not for the sake of healthy familiarity, whatever it is, but to hide stuff.
Could leaders who shy away from be a little vulnerable be trying to hide something?
A lot of leaders feel they need to be an enigma of sort so that they continued to be respected. They feel their ability to lead will be negatively affected if they get too close to people. On the other hand, you best lead people when you understand them well.
The better you understand your team as people and not just their functions the more likely you are to lead them well.
I’m still grappling with this. Why leaders shy from being vulnerable? Then again, why should they be?
One of the reasons I can give is that it is easier for teams / team members to be loyal to someone and not a mere office. There are hints of some of the reasons. I have written about why people, and yes, leaders, need to be upfront with their shortcomings here.
Do leaders need to show who they are, outside of their office or function? Why do some leaders shy from being vulnerable?