The Paradox of Leadership

If you want to be an effective leader then you have to act like one. Yet that’s not as straightforward as it might seem. Here are a few counter-intuitive examples:

1) Admitting Mistakes Enhances Your Credibility

If you try to justify or defend your mistakes people will think you’re a weasel. Taking responsibility enhances your credibility because they see you’re not just acting in self-interest. The next time you make a mistake, ask yourself two questions: What did I learn? What would I do differently next time? Asking these same questions when your people make mistakes promotes a culture of learning, not blame.

2) Recognizing Your Weaknesses Can Make You Stronger

News flash: You’re not perfect. Not a big deal but ignoring your weaknesses could be. Unearth your weaknesses, acknowledge them and take action to address the ones that are holding you back. It doesn’t mean you have to be great at everything. But make sure your weaknesses aren’t self-defeating and surround yourself with people whose greatness complements you.

3) Putting Them First Helps Your Cause More Than Putting You First

People can sniff out a self-serving leader a mile away. When you strive to see through their eyes, understand their perspectives and feel with their hearts, you will be viewed as a leader who cares. People follow leaders who respect them, understand them and care about them.

4) Firing People Can Raise Morale

When you don’t hold accountable the person who isn’t meeting performance or conduct expectations, it demoralizes and demotivates everyone else. Yes, it’s your responsibility to give the person the opportunity, resources and support to succeed. But if they still don’t succeed, do what you know you need to do … and don’t be surprised when it boosts the morale of everyone else.

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