Monday, May 12, 2014

Selfless leaders share their own mistakes

From "The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders," by Jeanine Prime and Elizabeth Salib on the HBR Blog Network, based on their research paper entitled "Inclusive Leadership: The View From Six Countries" for Catalyst Group:

To promote inclusion and reap its rewards, leaders should embrace a selfless leadership style. Here are some concrete ways to get started based on both our current research and our ongoing study of leadership development practices at one company, Rockwell Automation:

Share your mistakes as teachable moments. When leaders showcase their own personal growth, they legitimize the growth and learning of others; by admitting to their own imperfections, they make it okay for others to be fallible, too. We also tend to connect with people who share their imperfections and foibles—they appear more “human,” more like us. Particularly in diverse workgroups, displays of humility may help to remind group members of their common humanity and shared objectives....

People often feel that sharing mistakes is risky; the best way to overcome this perception is for leaders to go first, which sends two messages - everyone makes mistakes, and it's important to share them for the benefit of others.

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