Should you strive to be the perfect leader?
One question that we ask in our Frontline Leadership class is, “If you think back to all the leaders for whom you have worked, what percentage of them were good leaders and what percentage were not good?” Usually, it turns out to be a coin toss, you have good leaders, and you may have bad ones too. Very few people have a consistent set of great leaders.
When you think of your good leaders, are they perfect? Or do they have flaws? Most people will say that even the best leaders have flaws. If your team knows that you care about doing the best job that you can and that you have their best interests at heart, then they are also going to cut you a bit of slack.There is no such thing as a perfect leader. Work towards excellence, not perfection. Click To Tweet
This is not excusing bad leadership. Leaders cannot really be perfect.
Use these tips to work towards excellence, not perfection:
Feedback will come to you in a variety of ways. The most obvious being formal feedback, but if you pay attention, you will be getting feedback on a fairly continuous basis in the reactions that your team, peers, or manager are giving you.
If you are more in tune with picking this up, you can process that feedback and it can then act as a data point for you to reflect on.
Once you get your data points from the feedback, you can self-reflect on it.
When do people do what you want? When do they not? Self-reflect on what you contribute to the outcomes and figure out what you can tweak or change here.
Grow one step at a time.
Understand that as a leader, you will always have room to grow. As you become incrementally better, your team will see that it is getting better, and they are going to give you even more slack as you inevitably still screw up the odd time.
As you work towards being a leader of excellence and not necessarily a leader of perfection, know that you still have to be open to feedback, process that, and then reflect on it and make those changes to grow over time.