Whether you are a teacher, counselor, parent, coach, or manager, you are a leader. A good leader will often ask himself: “How to be a good leader?”
Just like in Star Wars, Master Yoda taught young Luke to inspire and to be humble. Finding a balance between ego and humility is not always easy. Even when you become (or you already are) a great leader, you must stay humble. Good leaders are always humble. You don’t need to be perfect.
Leaders are not Chasing Perfection
Life reminds us constantly that there is no such thing as perfection. At the end of the day, we are all humans and meant to be imperfect. Even those who we admire are most certainly imperfect. So, what do we do? We need to make sure that we forgive ourselves for the failures and mistakes we make. A good leader doesn’t need to be perfect but dedicated to empowering and enabling those who he leads. Being a good leader is not always about us but about others.
Often others impress us with their perfection. Let’s just start with people on Instagram who seem to have perfect lives. Or our idols who seem to be perfect with their accomplishments and achievements. Still, it’s not easy to remember that we are all humans at end of the day and we are all imperfect.
We all make mistakes, and we don’t always have the answers.
Often a hard thing for a leader is to be vulnerable once he makes mistakes and once it’s evident that he or she is not perfect. It’s hard to function as we are meant to know always everything. We can’t hide our imperfections, it’s even harder to show vulnerability. After all, a leader is meant to be strong, right? Well, no. Leaders should be relatable.
We should own and share our vulnerabilities as something normal and natural. Also, in our communities and organizations, we should embrace the culture of being vulnerable and supportive of others. Vulnerabilities should not be perceived as weaknesses and should not be treated as such in our organizations.
Once you acknowledge your imperfections and show your vulnerability, you are ready to grow as a human being and as a leader. Here, it’s important to remember that the goal is not to grow towards perfection but towards the best possible imperfect version of yourself. Remain compassionate to yourself on the road towards growth.
Leaders of the 21st Century
When you think about it leaders of the 20th century were political and philosophical gurus. It seems that in the 21st centuries we are pretty much stuck with cooperative and business leaders.
In big organizations, we often have the feeling that others are there to get us. Others are waiting for our mistakes or signs of weakness to take our position. Especially, in these circumstances, it’s important to have an open conversation about failures, mistakes and showing support for others. At the end of the day, it’s important to talk about how we work as a team? Not as a group of people who are after each other.
Women and Men Leaders
Maybe someone who is reading these words might think: “This was written by a woman, obviously.” Men are not comfortable showing their imperfections or being vulnerable in their home with their family members and friends. How can they be more comfortable with imperfections and vulnerabilities at work? This is a bigger picture that doesn’t relate to only leaders but men in general (and not all men). Here, it’s important to stress that having women and men as leaders in one organization is crucial to balance out some possible gender differences.
Again, many of us know companies and leaders where women seem to be the ones that are not willing to show imperfections or vulnerabilities while men are more supportive of others and ready to accept their mistakes. We all know those women and men leaders in our communities, so nothing is really set in stone.
When in a position of power, we should remain compassionate and supportive not prone to abuse our power, and not let our ego lead us instead of us leading our ego.