The tragedy of phoniness is an empty heart.
Real leaders learn to bring their best selves to work. Phonies wear a mask.
Phonies become phonies because they’re worried about opinions, approval, and recognition.
4 unexpected realities real leaders learn:
#1. Real leaders learn to ruffle feathers.
Phonies agree with others because they don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers.
You serve no purpose when you go along to get along. But remember only a few things really matter.
Everyone you dance around pulls the strings of your life.
Speak your point of view clearly, kindly, and with curiosity. Never intentionally offend. Anyone who is offended by clarity, kindness, and curiosity isn’t worth the time of day.
It’s the way you speak that enhances or inhibits influence.
A nose in the air is off-putting especially when you’re right. Obfuscation is obvious and disgusting to all except puddin’ heads. Pretending your mind is open when it’s closed degrades everyone’s contribution.
When things don’t go your way, practice humility, maintain optimism, turn toward the future, and row like hell.
#2. Real leaders learn they don’t know.
Phonies pretend to know. But phonies never grow.
- People you mentor shape YOU.
- Problems you solve today equip you.
- Today’s skills build platforms for future skills.
#3. Real leaders learn to open their hands.
Authorize people to act without you. It’s short-sighted to hoard authority. Are they qualified? Open your hand.
Put a fence around the playground and let the kids roam free.
Boundaries protect. Freedom invigorates.
#4. Real leaders learn to step into the dark.
Phonies always play it safe.
I was afraid of the dark when I was a kid. Light from a crack in the door drove monsters away. Thank goodness mom left the door ajar.
A little light provides enough courage to step into the dark.