When I’ve screwed up as a leader (and holy maloney have I ever made some screw-ups), I can put it down to one of these five reasons:
- Ignoring that tiny, quiet little voice at the back of my head that tells me exactly where the problem is.
- Being so focused on getting work out the door that I just want everyone to shut up and do what I tell them.
- Staying quiet and squashing myself down in order to toe the party line, instead of flagging what I know to be true.
- Internalising the pressure of delivery and turning it into stress.
- Normalising an unhealthy environment or toxic behaviour as “the way it is”, and just carrying on
If I hadn’t made the choice to look at the reasons for my screw-ups, I’d be destined to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over.
Self-honesty is essential for any leader, and two quick things on that…
- It’s uncomfortable, but that’s okay. Discomfort isn’t the enemy.
- It’s a practice, not a one-time thing. Do the work.