THE PROBLEM WITH LEADERSHIP IS HUMANS
It's a funny thing Leadership - conventional wisdom suggests that to be a truly great leader all you need to do is be is empathetic, all seeing, well planned, organised, socially and emotionally and innately intelligent, literate, numerate, compassionate, organised, fun, creative, caring, good with people, happy to share, keen to support, calm, a great communicator, altruistic, visionary, confident, driven, resilient, a great motivator, brilliant at managing complexity and perhaps even grateful.
The trouble is us humans just aren't made like that.
Let's consider for a minute some of the great leaders of our time
1. Bill Gates
Phenomenally successful billionaire CEO and founder of Microsoft, often suspected by amateur, armchair psychologists in the media as being on the autism spectrum for his legendary eccentricities, such as “rocking” and his total disdain / dis-interest for the opinions of others.
2. Elon Musk
Phenomenally successful billionaire CEO and founder of Tesla and Space X (also co-founder of Pay Pal) Elon's legendary work ethic which manifests as a brutal and unrelenting pursuit of the impossible, does not tolerate fools or failure - addicted to a cycle of great highs, terrible lows and unrelenting stress.
3. Steve Jobs
He was phenomenally successful billionaire CEO and founder of Apple - famously obsessive, creative genius with enormous drive and vision - reckoned by medical observers to have suffered from OCPD - a mental health condition (like OCD) in which a person is preoccupied with rules, orderliness and control but whereas OCD can interfere with functioning OCPD sufferers are convinced that their way of thinking is absolutely correct and superior to everyone else's and they take NO prisoners.
4. Henry Ford
Phenomenally successful billionaire CEO and founder of Ford Motor Company. The inventor of 'mass production' - not as many people think - the inventor of the motor car - yet he actually attributed his success not to incredible mangement skills, forsight and gumption, Instead he believed that nothing he did was of his own volition but that of a super being - a great Spirit (invisible forces)..sending him thoughts and ideas.
......... and then there's our perception or misinterpretation of what makes a good leader.
Imagine for a moment it's time to elect a world leader ...
Candidate A: Defers to astrology, has had 2 mistresses and drinks 8-10 Martinis a day
Candidate B: Was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and
drinks a quart of brandy every evening
Candidate C: Is a decorated war hero, a vegetarian, doesn't smoke and has no illicit love
Which one do you choose?
FYI information A is Franklin Roosevelt - B is Winston Churchill - C is Adolf Hitler
In the final reckoning all humans are flawed and leadership has to be a combination of whatever ingredients allow a person to be the best possible version of themselves ( for the record I naturally don't include Adolf Hitler in that assertion because to be a great leader you first have to qualify as a human.)
So accepting that we are all in some way or other deliciously and uniquely flawed - here are some simple thoughts that just might make being a leader that little bit easier:
Listen to other people (No one says you have to agree with them but it's always good to hear what they have to say)
Be prepared to fail and learn from failing
Cut yourself some slack - no one is perfect
Ask for help
Enjoy the ride because you only get one go around
Respect, trust and honesty are all we have - make them the starting point
Rules are there to be broken - so when required it's OK to challenge or even throw away the playbook - Change is good
Never stop believing
Resilience and determination are good - success at any cost may just kill you
"Be yourself - because everyone else is taken" ..........Oscar Wilde