Leadership Mistakes

Is Your Leadership Style Okay With Being Wrong?

Ann Golden Egle asked:

Congratulations to those of you brave enough to open this article. Some of my readers would have instantly deleted anything that hinted at them being anything less than perfect, certainly ‘wrong.’

Take a moment to asses your initial reaction to this title. Were you intrigued, curious, or perhaps agitated? How you react says a whole lot about the kind of leader you are.

Every great leader has a strong competitive streak that helps them stay ahead of their game. However, when this streak interferes with learning, it quickly brings them down. We learn from both what we do right and where we err. It might be tough to hear the truth about mistakes you make, but avoiding this learning experience sets you up for even more difficulties.

Face it, sometimes you are purely off base; you’ve missed the cue. Yes, even you are dead wrong. So, what does your reaction says about you?

Denialyou are not in touch with the reality of the situation and of those whom you lead. If you are told there is a ‘situation’ a true leader takes it seriously, pulling in the necessary resources to get to the bottom of the problem.

Agitationyour ego keeps you locked into a very narrow perspective. Take a breath, widen your view and ask questions. There is more to the story. Those all around, below, and above you have valuable insight. Listen intently and get help for that ego.

Blameby now you know that this is not a leadership style, but rather the behavior of a victim to look at the problem rather than the solution. Look no farther than in the mirror to correct the situation.

Premature Apologyyou lead with a reactionary impulse. This weakens your stance and how others view you. Wait until you have the appropriate data to fully understand the scenario. Sincerity, a comprehensive understanding of the problem and plan of action are keys here.

Caution/Intrigue/Curiosityyou lead with your mind, combined with your heart and wisdom gained through experience. You are eager to assess the damage, put all the pieces together (not the people, but rather the activities that could have taken place) and then to form a plan of action

In this latter scenario, you immediately take steps learn more in order to:

1) not make the same mistake again, and, 2) discover what you missed the first time around.

You can then build and incorporate a plan of action and move forward. If you opt out, you’ll remain right where you are now: buried in denial, blaming others, and having to apologize for things you just don’t see clearly.

Purposely ask someone to challenge you this week to assess your reaction. Have them say the words to you: “You’re wrong, dead wrong.Tell yourself honestly if one of the above M. O.s is your style. Then notice your visceral response:

Physical sensation (gut reaction, goose bumps, tightened chest) Emotional surge (sad, angry, hurt) Intuitive hit (I believe him, I doubt what she is saying, I missed the financial piece) How does it feel to be wrong, brave, and perfect? Have a wonderful week exploring ‘you!’ Enjoy your process!

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