5 Ways to Overcome Feeling Imperfect in Leadership
Let’s get one thing straight, there are no perfect people in this world; no perfect parents, no perfect spouses, no perfect business owners or even influential leaders. Nobody is perfect and you need to stop holding yourself to an imaginary standard that cannot possibly be achieved.
With the use of social media, people have the ability to curate their lives into something that romanticizes their idea of a perfect life. Unfortunately it can lead us into an envious cloud of feeling unworthy. We are led to believe that those people whom we aspire to be likened to, never had to go through hardships or mistakes. But each and every one of those people, if totally honest, would narrate a list of less-than-perfect situations they don’t publicize.
In my years of being in various leadership roles, I have often found myself feeling unworthy of the position I was placed. I may not have had the right education, experience or expertise in any given subject, but yet I was still looked upon for the direction or decision. I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes in these instances, but I have also found that everyone else in leadership feels unworthy at some point as well.
Take the Risk
Too often we choose not to take a risk in being the chair of the board, or accepting that new promotion or facilitating the opening of a new location because we think we will be found out. But have faith in the education, experience and expertise that you do have, because more often than not, it really just takes someone who can take a risk, and the rest will come after.
Are you looking to take a risk in your future? Below are five things that I have found integral to flourishing in your role as a leader and holding it together under pressure.
Being passionate about your role means that you believe in what you’re doing, you’re excited to come to work every day and get to work on making the world a better place. You understand all aspects of the organization, what they stand for, their history and you have a long term vision for the future. You buy into your organization’s mission and your values align with theirs. If you’re passionate about your responsibilities, this will filter into your team, creating a positive and productive work environment that gets things done.
You cannot be a one-man-band. No matter the size of your organization, you need one or more people on your team. It’s important that your team consist of people from varying backgrounds, ethnicities, age groups and opinions. Too often we complete our teams with people who look like us, think like us, even socialize with us. Unfortunately, if you need an honest critique of an idea or vision, you may not see it from all angles with a team that consists of differing versions of yourself. Put together an eclectic team and be sure to DELEGATE!
People love real. It’s why reality television dominates the tube and why we gravitate towards people who seem “authentic” and “grounded.” As a leader, no one expects you to have it all together; in fact, they’ll appreciate seeing some emotion every once in a while. Be honest about what you’re dealing with in your life, apologize for the things you know could use improvement and cry with them when they face hardships. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” “I know what it’s like to be in your position” or “You are much better at this than I am.” Be open and honest and the work ethic of your team will be much higher.
Sometimes it seems everyone is afraid to make a decision. Unfortunately you may not be able to skip the hoops and loops of making a decision with the higher-ups, but don’t prolong the process when it’s in your hands. Keep things moving and accept responsibility for decisions you make that didn’t go as planned. Then move on.
Education is only as good as the moment it was taught. In an ever-changing society where information is updated on a daily basis, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with your industry. I love LinkedIn for this reason, as they have fantastic sources posting daily in thousands of different industries. You don’t need to be constantly in the books, but staying up-to-date will give you confidence of changing trends.
I’m not saying that by employing these five characteristics you will excel every time. You will continue to make mistakes and you will continue to overcome those downfalls the next time. While it’s great to look to the influencers in your life for advice and direction, always remember that they are not perfect, no matter how beautiful their LinkedIn posts appear. You may not be perfect, but you are most certainly worthy.