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A Leader's Fatal Flaw: Nothing Is Ever Wrong

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/04/2016 Bill Douglas

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To many, particularly non-entrepreneurs, always being right may not sound like a problem. Optimism, positivity, confidence - they're all good. However, in reality, the fear of being wrong and/or not having every answer as well as keeping something quiet that is personal are significant issues effecting many business leaders.

Envision working at a company and going to the boss, the leader, asking a question and then seeing that he/she does not have the answer. Even worse, if the entrepreneur says "something is wrong" or "I don't know". Hearing that might make you hesitate about your job security, your future, the company's future.... right? Well, that's an entrepreneur's fear: losing the confidence of employees, of key team members. So, instead, many entrepreneurs & executives give answers, every time, and often don't share the whole truth, particularly about themselves.

Now, mind you, many are type A aggressive leaders and capable of decisions on the fly; however, there are times when these sentences are perfectly acceptable:
"I don't know. What is your opinion?""I'd like to share something with you."

A decision always lies with the leader. And, the team member is included in the decision process. The candor of the leader will actually attract the employees rather than deter them. I learned many years ago that being open with life situations had very positive effects on our team, too. I used to be very quiet about my personal life. I still don't wear my woes on my sleeve, but I do share the reasons why my attention or productivity are impacted. I remember the relief when I finally told my management team that I was going through divorce. They were very supportive. I was concerned about being judged; instead, they took on more so that I had the space to do the legal side of the divorce and to figure out how to be a single dad.

When I put my pride aside and opened up, we became a better team.

Lead by example. Don't carry all the weight. Don't try to have every answer, every time. I encourage you to be real, be more candid, and share your entrepreneurial life with your team. You will be a stronger leader, even more respected by those that matter.


30 years of strategic, entrepreneurial business growth along with two brushes with death have earned him the tag "ResilienceGuy". Bill Douglas is an accomplished Mentor, Coach & Speaker helping entrepreneurs & executives with growth and strength.

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