How to act like a respected leader?
Not sharing how we’ve failed (and talking up our accomplishments too much) triggers something decidedly not good in peers.
This envy creates dysfunctional behavior as peers, or even direct reports, seek to tear down and undermine the successful leader. It also causes employees to behave less and disrupts a sense of teamwork.
Obtaining respect as a leader is difficult enough to accomplish. So why would we jeopardize it once we reach it? Unwittingly we do just that when we withhold or try to bury one thing about ourselves in particular–our failures.
When an employee hears a leader talking about their mistakes, it can induce empathy where the employees feel that the leader deserves their success, and they feel inspired to improve their performance. So there’s a better way forward than burying your blemishes.
What does it mean to be a respected leader?
If you’re highly successful, your achievements are apparent. It’s more novel and inspiring for others to learn about your mistakes. What’s exciting about this is that we’re trying to chip away at the resentment that comes with envy and move people toward admiration instead. One way to do that is to acknowledge your struggles or shortcomings.
Raise your hand if you’d prefer admiration over envy?