The Paradox of Leadership

saentis_2007-10-14_69 Jérôme via Compfight
As you move up in an organization, it is like you are climbing a mountain – the higher you go, the better the view and the larger the domain you command.
AND… the more exposed you become, thus making a better target for snipers.
That is the paradox of leadership. The higher you go, the more people watch everything you do or say. The best leaders are those who are open, communicative, and who allow themselves to be seen as human.
That means you must be willing to admit your flaws and weaknesses, and recognize that only when you do so can you ALSO access your full power as a leader.
How to do that?  One key is to practice Humility — the ability to admit you don’t know or that you made a mistake.  Many leaders think, “If I show any weakness, they will take me down.  They will no longer trust me.”  Perhaps that is true in a small number of highly dysfunctional organizations; but for the most part, people who hear statements like that from their leaders will assess them as being more Human!  They will assess your confession of vulnerability as a sign of your strength and confidence, for it truly takes a confident person to be open about what they DON’T know.
Strength and Vulnerability exist on the same continuum, and show up in the same body.
Remember, Leadership is not about a title: Anyone can be a leader who can say, “I made a mistake,” or “I don’t know” and still exude confidence in the ability of the TEAM to address the problem.

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