“U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly…hey, hey, you ugly“. Ok, maybe it’s not the best way to begin a post on leadership and is possibly reverting back to some bad elementary jokes, but when I think about what leaders do well and what leaders don’t do as well, I thought of UGLY.
Those who have leadership positions, whether big or small have a presence to maintain. If it’s a large corporation with thousands of employees, shareholders and economic expectations to make happy, the appearance of “everything is good” will many times take top priority. Even if the leader is in charge of a three person operation, no one wants to have their weaknesses brought to the light.
Leaders, in many cases want to give the impression of “strong” and “without fault”. Some leaders will give off confidence, while others will convert that confidence into arrogance. A great line by the character portraying Julius Ceasar in HBO’s “ROME”, says “it’s only arrogance if you’re wrong.” ( he was eventually wrong an ended up dead ). Leaders should be strong and confident, but why not let people in…why not let people see you without the makeup…see a little bit of the ugly.
I think leaders are nervous to ” show their ugly” for a few reasons:
- It will show weakness
- People will think less of them
- The leader’s own insecurity
- Fear of failure
- Micro-management versus the Team
- Lack of trust
Over the next few posts, we will take a look at each of the above and why it can be hard for leader to open up and be real with those they lead. The inability to show who they really are to those who make it happen for the leader’s organization can be one of the major obstacles to a leader’s success. So open up a little, show some ugly and GO lead!