I am not a perfect leader and I’ve never seen one either. What I have seen, though, are leaders making the costly mistake of trying to project “perfection” by never being vulnerable and never admitting a mistake.
To be clear, I’m not saying you should do that all the time with your employees…that raw level of consistent vulnerability should be done primarily with a mentor or coach. What I am saying is there is absolutely a place and time for you to be vulnerable with your employees, and that it’s always important to admit a mistake when you realize it.
Your employees are not perfect either, and they know it. Their ability to do their jobs well and take meaningful risks is directly proportional to your willingness to accept their vulnerabilities and mistakes. No one is good at everything, so being clear about your weaknesses and quickly taking responsibility when you get it wrong is essential for your team to perform at a high level.
In an article titled, “Turn Your Vulnerabilities Into Leadership Strengths in 3 Steps,” Malachi Thompson provides three ways to create an environment of trust and respect between a leader and his/her team (article link here). They are as follows:
- Get good at recognizing and embracing your vulnerabilities
- Tell your stories of hardship
- Stop your quest for power and practice ways to say you messed up
Each of those three items will make you a better leader. But if you have never felt comfortable being vulnerable and admitting your mistakes, read through his article and then start slowly…but do start somewhere. Over time it will get easier and your team will truly appreciate it.
If this article was helpful and prompted you with an increased desire to improve your effectiveness as a leader so you can take your team to the next level, contact us to learn more about our Aepiphanni Ascend Leadership Development program. Fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to schedule a Coffee & Consult to chat in more detail about how we can help.
Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.
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