Less Than Perfect – The Humanity Of Leaders

I will be the first to admit that I am far from perfect. Actually I am so far from it that it scares me. Every day is a learning experience and I always learn from my mistakes, never regret and continue to grow. This relates to my personal, work and athletic life. I had the amazing opportunity to be the inspirational speaker at a pasta dinner prior to a half marathon this weekend. I was able to share what I have learned with others and the experience was priceless. I will write more about the experience and the speech itself in my next blog entry (per the request of some who wanted to see it). Until then I received this and it was too perfect not to share. Enjoy.

When we choose a leader, we often place our faith in that person

to a degree that exceeds what is humanly possible.

When we recognize someone as a leader, we often place our faith in that person to a degree that exceeds what is humanly possible. In other words, we expect them to be beyond fault and to not make mistakes. This, of course, is neither realistic nor fair. Just like us, these people are living human lives, and part of the deal is learning through experience and working out our individual karmas. There will always be missteps and things they would do differently given a second chance. If we are to be fair, we must grant our leaders the same forgiveness, compassion, and understanding that we grant our closest friends as they navigate the complex challenges of this human life.

Leaders are special people in that they have the ability to guide and represent large groups of people. In this calling, they agree, to some degree, to be responsible for the well-being of others. Because of this, we hold them up to a higher standard of behavior, and in some ways this is fair. However, we will only be disappointed and disillusioned time and time again if we expect them to be perfect. If they were perfect, they would not be here on earth. Perhaps the most we can expect of our leaders is that they make it a practice to acknowledge their shortcomings and learn from their experiences. Beyond this, when our leaders let us down, it is up to us to forgive and move on. Dwelling on disappointment and negativity creates more of the same.

People who choose to lead are often extraordinary individuals blessed with vision, energy, and charisma. It is their path to inspire, guide, and represent us, but it is not possible for them to never let us down. Leaders are on a path of growth just as we are. Perhaps this is something to remember when we have the opportunity to choose somebody in a leadership role, or perhaps you are ready to step into a role of leadership yourself.

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3 Responses to “Less Than Perfect – The Humanity Of Leaders”

  1. so true! I love it! puts into perspective a lot of things I’ve noticed about life, work and leadership. Makes me realize that I haven’t cut enough slack for the leaders in my life and for myself when taking on a leadership role!!

  2. Kellie-
    Awesome! You are an amazing writer. So true and significant for my life these days.
    Keep it up!

  3. It is hard to imagine those that we look up to as having human flaws. We need a reminder once and a while that to be human is to be imperfect. This doesn’t mean we can’t reach for perfection though 🙂

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