There is this myth in the business world, in our culture, and perpetuated in our work space that you can only be a good leader if you are perfect. That you must be the smartest, most capable, fastest, know all the answers, and never, ever, ever make mistakes. Sound like a tall order? Sound unrealistic? It is!
However, not only is it covertly indicated by raises, promotions, and praise alike; it’s accepted as the status quo. I’m going on record right now that there is absolutely no such thing as a perfect person who is also a leader. The two words: perfect and leader simply cannot go together for one very simply reason:
It takes mistakes to make someone capable of leadership.
If you are in a leadership position and have not yet been humbled by mistakes or failure, take a true and accurate read from your team on how they view you as a leader. Are you empathetic? Understanding of mistakes? Or are you perceived as arrogant and lead by fear? If you have been hiding or attempting to hide mistakes out of fear, you’ll find that others do not view you as someone they can go to with their own mistakes. This creates a place of secrets and shame with little to no growth.
Now does this mean you can’t be confident? Of course you want to be a strong leader for your teams but don’t allow confidence to become arrogance. Otherwise you aren’t raising leaders, you are just taking steps to raise your own ego.
So no, even as a leader; there isn’t some mystical spell that suddenly makes you incapable of mistakes. If anything, you make them more because you are given new areas of responsibility and have the honor of leading others. You’ll make mistakes there as well. Instead of letting it beat you down, learn from it and you’ll find those you lead will do the same.