There are a world of pressures that make the responsibility of leadership sometimes overwhelming. One of the key principles that helps us as leaders is knowing what our limitations are. Too many times as leaders we think because we have the authority and the responsibility that we need to do it all. This can’t be further than the truth. We are all human and have limitations and will never be able to do it all. The trouble is that life becomes very miserable for everyone involved when we get sucked into the mentality that we have to do it all. For starters, when we can’t do it all, we compensate for our inability to get it all done with control. Without knowing it, we try to keep our authority intact by controlling others. Usually, we try to control insignificant activities that have no bearing on productivity. Another issue that leaks out is the inability to forgive mistakes, while going overboard to defend your own actions. When these things don’t work (and they never do) we separate ourselves from others and that places a barrier between us and our staff. This separation gives a false and misleading impression of respect and authority. Finally, when we have dug ourselves into a deep hole of frustration and everyone has lost all respect for us, it is human nature to get angry. We are not talking about justifiable anger here, but the kind where you kick your dog just to feel better about yourself. Needless to say, this doesn’t help either.
So, how do we avoid all of this? First, we need to be honest with ourselves and others about our limitations. Remember, we are not all the same intentionally, and because of that we can work together successfully. Second, we need to be up front with our mistakes and not try to cover them up. We all make them, so let’s all learn together. Finally, never take yourself or your people for granted. When we know our limitations, we can work together as a team and rely on our strengths. By working together, we avoid the barrier of separation and gain the respect and authority that has been given to us. It al boils down to being real. We need to stop trying to be somebody we’re not; then we will be the leader God made us to be.