If you’re heading into a battlefield you want a leader who is strong and confident. If your team is taking the field you want a coach who is confident she has a winning game plan. There are some situations where a leader who shows weaknesses is a bad idea.
And then there are the other 98% of situations where admitting weaknesses is a good idea.
If someone can’t admit they have weaknesses they’re not worth listening to.
Pastors and politicians are the two groups I think of who fall in this trap the most.
Pastor and politicians fall into the trap of trying to appear perfect. It’s a trap for them and us and traps should always be avoided.
Politicians won’t show weaknesses because they want to be reelected. Pastors don’t want to show weakness because they feel a need to perpetuate the myth that pastors are super human or they’re prideful enough to believe that they are actually super human.
I can’t listen to people who won’t or can’t admit their weaknesses. I won’t work for someone who can’t admit to weaknesses. I won’t sit under the teaching of someone who can’t admit their weaknesses.
Why Follow The Weak?
We’re all weak, and we can learn from each other’s weaknesses. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are led by people who understand the struggle of alcoholism. They understand the struggle and they are more helpful and compassionate and effective because of it.
Following someone who readily admits weaknesses means they’re aware of them and are willing to disclose them publicly, which means they’re also inviting accountability.
This is someone I’ll listen to.
So, sorry if you’ve got all of your crap together and you’ve got nothing but smiles all the time. I’m not buying it.
Optimism? I’ve got plenty of it. Confidence? I’m not lacking. Joy? I’ve got enough for me and some left over to share.
But life is hard sometimes and I want to follow people who know and admit that reality for themselves.
The weight of perfection
Turns out being perfect is a lot of work because no one’s perfect so you have to lie about some parts of your life.
I don’t follow liars and neither should you. So let’s get real and follow people who are honest about the struggle.
We’re all more likely to overcome a struggle when we admit we’re in the middle of one.