12 Common Self-Deceptions Leaders Often Tell Themselves

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12 Common Self-Deceptions Leaders Often Tell Themselves

Written by: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member




One of the most challenging things about being a leader is trying to see yourself objectively so that you can improve your leadership skills. Sometimes, even when they have the best intentions, leaders end up deceiving themselves and hampering their ability to lead.

It’s crucial for those in leadership positions to seek, accept and act on subjective assessments of themselves to improve areas of weakness and be clear about their level of business acumen. Here, 12 members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss some common self-deceptions leaders tell themselves, and why it’s so important for them to put an end to those narratives.

Forbes Coaches Council member explore common self-deceptions leaders often tell themselves.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. ‘I Am Open To Other Points Of View’

“I am open to other opinions and points of view” is a common self-deception. If that’s true, it should be easy to recall two or three recent occasions when you changed your mind as a leader after your team members shared their diverging points of views, and you truly listened and adjusted your way forward including their insights. If you only encourage sharing but don’t incorporate other perspectives where possible, soon the sharing will stop. – Ute Franzen-Waschke, Business English & Culture

2. ‘I Have To Be Perfect’

The common self-deception that leaders must be perfect goes something like this: “I have to have all the answers. I can’t be wrong. I can’t fail. I have to be strong. I can’t show weakness or vulnerability. People must respect me.” Perfection is the enemy of good enough. Unrealistic expectations are not the same as high standards, and they set an unhealthy example for teams, organizations and society. Let imperfect be the new perfect. – Palena Neale, unabridged

3. ‘I Shouldn’t Tell My Team When I’m Feeling Demotivated’

Leaders often feel that they need to stay strong for the team, and that sharing negative feelings won’t be viewed favorably. However, being a great leader means displaying authenticity. Vulnerability invites vulnerability, and when a team sees leaders being open and honest about everything, it creates a culture of trust and camaraderie. – Josephine Kant, Google for Startups


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4. ‘I Must Drive The Conversation’

Leaders often think they must drive the conversation. As noble as this mindset is, it could set us up for leadership monologues, where our opinions become the most heard and adopted. The goal of leadership is to inspire relevant conversations, even when those conversations do not emanate from us. And it starts with active listening, because when leaders stop listening, the team stops speaking. – Eden A. Onwuka, A Woman And Half, LLC

5. ‘I Know What Other People Are Thinking’

This is simply not true, and we never will know what others are thinking. We can make educated guesses that are sometimes correct and many times are not. The best leaders realize that they need to inquire, ask questions and be curious. Even then, leaders need to recognize that they will run responses through their own filters of confirmation, acceptance or rejection. – Evan Roth, Roth Consultancy International, LLC.

6. ‘It’s Going To Be Fine’

“It’s going to be fine” is an uber-naive and optimistic stance to take when the numbers are screaming, “Something is wrong!” The belief that your sheer perseverance and hard work will get you the result sets you up for failure in the long term. The most effective leaders balance strategy, judgment, market awareness, data and intuition to make hard calls fast and with eyes open. – Edyta Pacuk, MarchFifteen Consulting Inc.

7. ‘It Is Lonely At The Top’

A common misconception among leaders is “I’m in this alone” or “it’s lonely at the top.” This is not true. By definition, you’re only a “leader” because you have followers. You’re not alone; you’ve never been alone. You didn’t get to where you are without an army of help, and you’ll get through whatever you’re facing by tapping into your community. Respect your own leadership. – Corrie Block, Paragon Consulting FZE

8. ‘I Have No Time To Do That’

When leaders are “too busy” for others, there is a problem. Why? Because, in my practice, this is a problem of mindset rather than reality. It is a symptom of the leader holding on too tightly to something they shouldn’t—or thinking that they are better than others on the team or that being busy is a status symbol—and not living a full and balanced life. – Natasha Ganem, Lion Leadership

9. ‘A Leader’s Job Is More Secure’

Many leaders think their job is secure when it isn’t. Job security is a myth, and executive roles are often cut sooner to justify costs/impact. Leaders should be wary and not overestimate “loyalty.” Pay attention to factors such as when a company hires a new CFO or COO, raises capital, changes course, reports quarterly earnings or many others that may impact a leader’s employment unexpectedly. Always be prepared. – Jacob Warwick, ThinkWarwick

10. ‘It Wasn’t My Fault’

“It wasn’t me; it was that person’s (or team’s or group’s or division’s) fault,” you say. But who hired them? Your company did. You run the company. Every failure is yours, not theirs. Remember, it’s your company, and everything is your fault—the good as well as the bad. Stop externalizing issues; start internalizing them. You work for them; they do not work for you. You caused it, so 100% own it. – Antonio Garrido, Absolute Sales Development

11. ‘My Stakeholders See Me As I See Myself’

We tend to think that others see us through the same lens we see ourselves. What are key stakeholders seeing that you, as a leader, might not? How you are perceived by others will set the stage for how effective you are as a leader. This is an important concept to master and manage. – Michele Cohen, Lead to Growth Coaching

12. Performance Issues Will Improve In Time

Left unaddressed, performance issues will not get better in time. They are not like wine or cheese—they do not age well. Performance issues are best addressed sooner so that people have a better shot at mitigating them. Others know when someone is not performing, so it is bigger than just the individual. Going straight to an issue and addressing it is the most respectful approach for all. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates, LLC

via Forbes – Leadership “https://ift.tt/pw1Y7lg”

April 14, 2022 at 06:05AM

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Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman

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