Stay real and be humble as a leader

ยท 3 min read
Stay real and be humble as a leader

The other day I had a coffee with a friend of mine who has a managerial role for an enterprise tech company. At some point he told me: "I attended a managerial seminar recently. The core principle the instructor started and ended the session with, is that we should never admit our ignorance or even our mistakes in front of our teammates since they will probably feel we are weak and silly so they might stop respecting us right after".

Wow!! This couldn't be more inaccurate. Let's see why.

One of the most fascinating aspects of leadership is the way people respond to different leadership styles. While some leaders are polished, confident, and poised, others are perceived as more honest and even clumsy. Surprisingly, many people tend to feel closer to the latter group. But why is this so?

  • One reason for this phenomenon is that people tend to identify more with leaders who are not afraid to show their vulnerabilities. Honest and clumsy leaders tend to be more transparent about their strengths and weaknesses, and this makes them more relatable. It's easier to trust someone who is willing to admit that they don't have all the answers, and this vulnerability can create a deeper sense of connection.

  • Another reason people are drawn to honest and clumsy leaders is that they tend to have a more collaborative approach to leadership. They are more likely to ask for feedback, involve others in decision-making, and acknowledge their mistakes. This can create a sense of community and inclusivity that is often lacking in more polished and arrogant leadership styles.

  • Furthermore, honesty and clumsiness can be seen as signs of authenticity. In a world where image is everything, many people are craving authenticity and realness. Honest and clumsy leaders are not afraid to be themselves, and this can make them more approachable and trustworthy. People can sense when someone is putting on a facade, and this can create a sense of distance and distrust.

In conclusion, the reasons people feel closer to honest and clumsy leaders compared to polished and arrogant ones are numerous. These leaders tend to be more relatable, collaborative, and authentic, which can create a deeper sense of connection and trust.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, it's clear that leaders who are willing to embrace their vulnerabilities and show their humanity are often the most effective. Cheers!!

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