Leadership isn’t about being perfect. Here are four reasons why accepting your flaws will make you a better leader.
Leadership isn’t about being perfect. In fact, as a leader, it’s important you don’t expect perfection from yourself or your team. Often, to achieve this, you must lead by example, owning up to your mistakes and embracing your flaws as an important part of who you are.
“It is exceptionally rare to see leaders in the workplace allowing themselves to be vulnerable and share and accept their flaws,” said Heather Monahan, founder of career mentoring group #BossinHeels and author of new book “Confidence Creator” (Boss in Heels, 2018). “Mastering this strategy starts with baby steps that will yield very real and tangible results … If creating a culture of transparency, authenticity and trust is important to you, it is time to own your mistakes and flaws and do it with pride.”
Here are four reasons why accepting your flaws will make you a better leader.
1. You’ll empower others.
You don’t need to always be put-together and positive to inspire someone. In fact, inspiration often is rooted in adversity and blooms by way of passion and perseverance. In other words, baring your scars and embracing your faults will encourage others to do the same; and this will build a culture of self-love and acceptance.
“The more you can embrace who you really are and own your flaws, the more you are going to empower your team to do the same,” said Monahan. “If you are spending your time hiding the real you, that is exactly what you will get in return from your employees.”
You wouldn’t want your workers to hold back out of fear or shame for their imperfections, so you shouldn’t either. As the leader, you must be the one to push these boundaries.
“No one will ever perform their best or be willing to take chances if they don’t believe that errors and failure are an acceptable part of company culture, and that starts with the leader,” Monahan told Business.com.
2. You’ll appear more genuine and relatable.
Monahan said that being open about your downfalls will invite others to view you as a real person, which will ultimately make them feel more comfortable working for you.
“When you take the chance to share your flaws, you make yourself so much more relatable to everyone around you,” Monahan said.
This will encourage open communication and better connections between workers and management, rather than breeding tense relationships and timid employees.
3. You’ll build trust.
No one is perfect, so portraying yourself as such will only draw a wedge between you and your team. They won’t be as comfortable confiding in you or admitting to their mistakes, which can have detrimental consequences.
“If you don’t show vulnerability, your own team won’t feel like they will be able to approach you as a sounding board if they are having issues or struggles,” said Adam Trouncer, CEO of Athletic Greens.
As a leader, you should motivate, not intimidate. It’s crucial that your employees can count on you to not only accept their faults, but support them through any adversity. You can achieve this by unmasking your own shortcomings and working with theirs.
“Your personal vulnerability creates greater trust with your direct reports and allows others to be comfortable in accepting their own strengths and weaknesses,” said Trouncer.
4. You’ll become more self-aware.
Self-awareness is critical in the workplace, especially in a leadership role. Knowing your flaws helps you understand your blind spots, said Trouncer.
“By having this self-awareness, you are then able to build a team that complements you and your own skill set and ensure the organization as a whole has the skills required to succeed,” he added.
Be painfully self-aware. Share your findings. Welcome risks and slipups. Your main focus should be to nurture a mindful atmosphere that works together, not apart.