Leadership is NOT a set of Behaviors

Often in leadership circles, we place those who achieve success on pedestals and we talk about what they did right. We study their actions. We admire the decisions they made and the opportunities they have had. We learn from them and they challenge us.

Do you ever notice that some of these people never fail? They seem to never make a mistake or if they do, we only hear about it because they are telling us about their success overcoming that failure or learning from it.

Are you ever tempted to compare yourself with those people? “I could never do such and such,” or, “I would love to have the chance to do that with his resources and her connections.” Do you find yourself comparing often?

Comparison is a deadly trap. It can keep us from believing we are qualified or capable. It can cause us to flinch, hesitate or stop doing what we know we should.

However, when it comes to leading from who you are — let’s call that character-based leadership — comparison wastes energy. Character-based leaders are imperfect. My character is not perfect. If your character is perfect, you can stop reading here.

So, if you focus on perfection, you will get discouraged, because perfection seldom happens and never happens for long. Or you will choke, trying too hard. Or you might freeze, engulfed by fear. Aim for perfection and bank on discouragement, dissatisfaction, broken relationships, frustration and worse.

Leading from who we are means we must lead with and through imperfection. You can’t be someone else and be a character-based leader at the same time. One way to manipulate is to behave in a way that’s not consistent with who you are to get others to do what you want. Anyone inspired by a wrong image of the real you will disconnect when they discover the real you.

Our imperfections may discourage us but we must refuse to let them take us out of the game. Refuse to listen to that little voice in your head that tells you “Don’t screw up!” or “You always blow it in this area,” or “Remember the last time you tried this.” Genuine leadership is leadership through imperfection.
When we face our imperfection and still do what needs to be done, that’s genuine character-based leadership. We must work on our shortcomings but never let them keep us from taking action. Imperfect, genuine leaders encourage and mobilize others to do the same. They make persistence and success believable, reachable. Let’s stop listening to any voice that tells us we can’t do something. Simply decide to be the change you want to see in the world. Then act. The worst thing that can happen is that you might fail, but you’ll be who you are.

I’ll take an imperfect, transparent, giving, willing leader over a perfect, aloof, self-serving leader any day. Wouldn’t you?

Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.

About Dr. Surya

Using Quantum Physics and business research, Dr. Surya explores the correlation between the science of consciousness and patterns in the business world, to suggest innovative ways of using this wisdom to lead and succeed in a business environment that is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Self-awareness is the awareness of the self as separate from the thoughts that are occurring at any point in time. Without self-awareness the self perceives and believes the thoughts that are occurring to be who the self is. Self-awareness gives one the option or choice to choose thoughts being thought rather than simply thinking the thoughts that are stimulated from the accumulative events leading up to the circumstances of the moment. Along with his work as an Author, Writer, Blogger and popular Internet Radio Talk Show Host, Dr. Surya is in-demand as a public speaker. Clients include small to large corporations and individuals.
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