Leadership is Wrong

Or, more accurately, they shouldn’t be afraid to be. From politicians to CEOs to teachers in classrooms, being wrong is just part of the job. Understanding that leadership is wrong, at least some of the time, allows us to adjust more quickly.

To say that you are never wrong as a leader is exhausting. No one believes you and no one can live up to those expectations. So, you end up surrounded in sycophants, pretending every gaff was divine inspiration. Mistakes are swept under the rug. Still there, to be sure, and once you make enough of them, everyone will be tripping over them. But they won’t point them out, they’ll never get fixed, and you will smile your way into abject failure.

Admitting you are human is not a weakness. It’s a superpower. Showing and owning your faults allows you to plan with others, have everyone working as a team to solve problems. And really, it’s a lot easier to solve problems when we aren’t worried about whether they exist in the first place. Beyond that, it opens the door to collaboration, it lets those around you know that you are open to working with others, and that you are willing to take risks and to try new things.

Imagine a whole company made up of risk takers, the kind of people who see problems and confront them. Imagine a classroom of original thinkers, who learn from mistakes and build on that knowledge to grow beyond the confines of the classroom. Progress and innovation would run wild in the hallways.

No, we don’t need any more bosses who can’t admit when leadership is wrong. We need leaders who are going to include us in what we are going to do about it.

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