A Flawed human Being by Nickarts - 888

On Leadership. Flawed Human Beings: “They’re Everywhere!

In the process of gaining experience as a leader, I became fascinated by how many flawed human beings were around me. It was as though I had been cursed with a special magnet that only drew people to me who were imperfect. But there they were.

It wasn’t until I had been in several leadership roles in different businesses and industries that I discovered that it really was true, and it was a universal condition.

It seemed as though the flaws I saw in those around me, were showing up in every new situation I confronted. It was as though I was taking them with me everywhere I went.

In my arrogance and shortsightedness, I hadn’t yet learned that the only leader capable of leading flawed human beings, was one who could learn to see their own imperfections.

There was an unexpected tipping point for me. In one instance, I approached a well-known leader whose singular advice I urgently needed. I was immediately dismissed with, “I don’t even know you. What makes you think I have the time or an inclination to help you.” I quickly replied, “I don’t know how you saw it so quickly, but you found me out as a flawed human being. I apologize for reaching out to you.”

It was one of those “off the top of my head responses” that, had I thought about it a little longer, I would have pushed it down as telling the truth where silence may have been better. But, I actually felt that I had made a bold ask, under the circumstances, and it probably HAD exposed one of my flaws.

But it was as though I had reached her at a level of honesty that evoked something completely unexpected. She almost immediately replied with an apology and an offer to have a brief conversation. I got the help I needed and the offer of an open door if I needed more help.

No leader can get by walking around saying, “I want to discuss some of my many flaws with you today.” But there are times when showing some vulnerability and transparency can be affirming for your team members. Faking perfection and invulnerability will keep distance between you and all of those “flawed human beings” around you. From (very) personal experience, I assure you that every leader is among them.

~Will Keiper, co-author (with Steve Chandler) of The Leader & The Coach—The Art of Humanity in Leadership

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Credit: This is a blog post by Will Keiper at www.theleaderandthecoach.com



The Leader & The Coach by Steve Chandler & Will Keiper
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