As humans, no one is better than anyone else. We all have hopes, dreams, worries, and loves.
We all also have foibles, faults, and flat sides.
As soon as a leader thinks they are better than anyone else they have moved down the path of superiority, which always ends in depravity and delusions. Always.
What we believe about others (that they are lesser) eventually becomes what we believe others think about us. It’s a nasty cycle that creates cynicism and tendency for delusions of being under attack.
How do we avoid this emotionally draining cycle of pessimism, questioning, and watching our back?
Be honest with yourself.
Look in the mirror and get to know the person who looks back at you.
An authentic leader seeks to know themselves well enough to identify both their strengths and faults.
This does not mean we dwell on our flat sides and become despondent and self-conscious.
No, this means we recognize where we lack strength.
The next step many will jump to is to work with all diligence on their weaknesses; to make themselves a more complete and perfect person.
I want to be clear, it is never a bad idea to work on weaknesses. However, that is not the best next step.
The best next step is to look for people who have the strengths you lack and invite them to join your team.
This is what better leaders do. They work to become self-aware of their faults and then fill positions on their team with those who can compensate for their inabilities.
This does at least two positive things:
It creates balance, which lends toward a healthy team, which in turn aids the organization. In short, the leader’s ego doesn’t prevent success because they don’t want to look like they can’t do it all.
Leaders can then learn from those on their team whose strengths balance their weaknesses. Again, since no one is better than anyone else, we can all learn something from everyone.
Leaders need to avoid the common pitfall of thinking they must never show weakness or inability to prevent lack of confidence - it is through the admittance of weakness that trust grows within a team.
Go know yourself, identify your strengths and weaknesses, create a balanced team, learn from those who complement your weaknesses, and be an authentically better leader.