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Finding a Critical Friend

Healthy Leaders

Finding a Critical Friend

Elaine VitikainenElaine Vitikainen
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“Leadership is so hard,” I said to myself. I was reading the whiteboard in the meeting room. The last group had obviously been discussing leadership traits. The list went on and on. As I studied the long list of seemingly impossible demands, I wondered which of these traits are necessary and which ones are extras. I realized that perhaps one of the most important traits of a leader was not even on the list…

It is the ability to come to grips with their own flaws. It is only through accepting their own limitations that leaders can depend on others. Leaders who understand their limitations will tend to look for the potential of those they work with.

We all need people who encourage us and affirm us. We all enjoy positive feedback. But more precious still are people who will be honest with us about where we are failing. Leaders need people they can trust to give them honest feedback, however uncomfortable. Without such people, leaders will not see their blind spots. They will lose their humility. Their growth will be stunted.

Whom do you trust to give you honest feedback?

How aware are you of your limitations?

What are you doing about it?