Should leaders be perfect?
I was discussing this question recently with a group of leaders in the early stages of their leadership journey. There’s a question beneath this though and that’s ‘what is perfection?’ Surely, rather like beauty, perfection is in the eye of the beholder and that means perfection in leadership, or in anything, cannot exist as a uniform concept.
Isn’t perfection in leadership more about bringing our absolute best to every moment, and recognising that we’re human and occasionally that best may fluctuate a little from peak performance?
When we think about bringing our best to our leadership we can start to work with the behaviours, qualities and skills that define effective leadership and then focus on developing our practice around these. In this way we’re pushing up the needle on our personal best.
And that brings us to what defines effective leadership, particularly in these interesting times in which we’re asked to lead. At the heart is our heart and our ability to extend love to our fellow humans, to all living things, to the planet we call home.
Leading in this heartful way connects us with our humanity, with our moral compass and our intention to do the right thing, whatever confronts us. That means in tough decisions we’re truly considering impact and outcomes. It means we have the conversations we need to have, however challenging, with kindness. It means we’re consciously creating a future and legacy that will contribute positively to a greater good. Isn’t that, rather than perfection, something to aim for?