How To Let Go of Perfectionism….
Should a leader always be perfect? Should a leader never make mistakes? Should a leader never put a foot wrong? Should you always strive for perfection? The answer is no (read to the end as there are great articles and links to more research and tips). There is no such thing as a perfect leader, or even a perfect human being for that matter. So as much as we would all like to be perfect in everything we say and do, we can’t. I’m not trying to be mean and say you can’t be perfect. I’m just saying that everyone is different, and everyone has different views and opinions on the topic of perfection. You may think that you have the perfect office outfit on, but for someone else, that office outfit may not suit their style.
To be a great leader, you must be willing to work on your personal and professional development on a daily basis, be open to transparent feedback from your team and take action on the feedback, whether it be positive or constructive. Great leaders are always self-reflecting, evolving, embracing change, and encouraging a positive working environment in order to be the leader their business, or their team, needs.
So, if you’re searching for tips here on how to be a perfect leader, you are going to be disappointed. I believe that leaders need to let go of trying to be perfect and embrace who they are as a leader, and as a person. Great leaders strive to be the best version of themselves that they can be. They know that they will make mistakes on their leadership journey, but they are willing to learn from them and it’s important to do so, as that will make them a stronger and more courageous leader.
The constant pressure of trying to be perfect can have serious repercussions for yourself, as a leader, and on your team. Trying to achieve perfection leads to an increased amount of stress, mental health issues, toxic office environments with team members constantly competing with each other over the need to be perfect and you lose sight of what’s important.
It can be hard with all eyes on you, people expecting the world from you because you are the leader. However, if you can encourage your team to form healthy habits to manage their day and time, instead of being perfect all the time, you will see an increase in productivity and less stress. You will also be able to help young leaders, who are developing and learning, on their leadership journey. Here’s a great article with some research that shows what qualities can help you on the way to being a more effective leader.
So, how can you leave perfection behind and get started on your journey to being the best leader you can be? Here’s some top tips I have put together.
While we don’t like thinking about work after hours, it can pay to have 10 minutes to yourself to go over your day and reflect on the things you achieved. What could you have done better? Were you grateful to your team for their hard work? Is there anything that needs more work. By reflecting, you will be able to gather new ideas that may be beneficial for your team and you will have a fresher mind for the next work day. You can also check out my book – First Comes Courage if you need tips on being a courageous leader: x
2. Allow your team (and yourself) to make mistakes
This doesn’t mean you need to sit by and watch your team make mistakes while you sit in your office. I mean when a team member makes a mistake, don’t be harsh, be kind and empathetic. Find out why they made the mistake and put systems in place to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again. Allow them to grow from their mistakes and allow yourself to grow from any mistakes you make.
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3. Work on your personal and professional development
As leaders, we are always growing professionally and personally. Make sure you make the time to continue your education and training in your field of work, develop new skills and stay-up to date with the current trends as you can bet your team members will be doing so. Don’t forget to work on your personal development, by leaving any bad habits behind and continuing to have a healthy mindset and work/life balance.
4. Ask for feedback
This is the one tip that many leaders are afraid of, asking for feedback. However, what our leaders need to understand is that every leader has positive and constructive feedback. It might be you need to communicate more as a leader or show more gratitude towards members of your team at work. Leaders never stop learning, and feedback will help you become a better leader if you are brave enough to hear it and take action.
To read more great research and articles – we love Harvard Business Review and these are a MUST READ!
By Sonia McDonald – CEO Of LeadershipHQ And McDonald Inc. Leadership Coach, Global Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO And Award Winning Author.
Sonia McDonald is changing the face of leadership across the globe. She believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, and is known for her mantra ‘Just Lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her transformational coaching, leadership training programs and cultural transformation for organisations and encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped thousands of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
Sonia is a founder and CEO of McDonald Inc., LeadershipHQ and Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and 2022 Courage Conference. For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of leadership and she is beyond committed to her mission around building a world of great leaders.
She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader. She has been recognised by Richtopia as One of the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is a leading coach, an award-winning published author of newly released First Comes Courage, Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and has become an in-demand keynote speaker on leadership, kindness and courage.
Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, kindness, empathy and courage as well as building outstanding leadership across the Globe.