Should a Good Leader Admit to Being Wrong?

What is it about being a leader of a team or organization that makes you feel like you have to know everything?  Maybe it is part ego or that people expect leaders to make decisions and know what to do.  It took me a long time to admit that I am not perfect.  I have made many mistakes and learned some hard lessons along the way. You can’t go backwards, so you have to learn those lessons and do better as you move forward.  Having the confidence in yourself to admit that you don’t have all the answers is about showing your vulnerability.

Being vulnerable enough to admit you are wrong isn’t the first thing you think about when you are a fairly new leader.  You are just trying to figure everything out.   The things that you used to do now have to be managed differently and through other people.  Let’s be honest, you are going to make mistakes.  It is completely okay and frankly, it is expected that you will make mistakes.  Everyone has made their own mistakes and will tell you that is the best way to learn. Most of the big lessons that you learn are the ones that stick with you the most.

Brene Brown who is a Professor, Author, Speaker and Researcher says that, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”  This feeling shows up in both your personal and professional life.  Being able to admit that you are wrong is not easy to do and will make you uncomfortable.  On the positive side, it shows that you can be vulnerable and creates an environment for others around you to show their vulnerability as well.  You are showing them that you are not perfect and you don’t expect them to be either.

Being able to admit that you are wrong, is not a sign of weakness, but one that demonstrates your strength.  It is really empowering to show that you are vulnerable and that you need help from others.  You will see how much more you can accomplish when you aren’t worried about knowing everything.   You are free to focus on what is important to you in your life and your career.

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