I don’t know about you but I have difficulty with perfect people.
Maybe it’s because I’m not perfect. Maybe it’s because I’m so far from perfect it’s ridiculous. Maybe it’s because I’ve failed miserably, in view for all to see on multiple occasions. I’ve known great success and but also incredible failure.
My difficulty with perfect people reflects a truth about leadership: Most people I know want to follow ‘real’ people. Have you ever heard the comments about certain leaders: “He’s the real thing!” “What you see is what you get!” “There are no pretentions with him.”
When I’m around someone like that, I can relax a little, breath a little deeper, and be who I am.
The beauty of failure is that it gives perspective you would otherwise not have. It provides and opportunity to see what others are struggling with. It provides a sense of depth, maturity, and insight.
Perfect people polarize, struggling people humanize. Perfect people make me feel dirty, unworthy, unwelcome, and well, like a failure. Real people make me feel, accepted, understood, connected, and hopeful.
The biggest issue with perfect people is that they don’t think that they think they are perfect, because it would be imperfect to think you are perfect. So, they hide behind a mask of denial, sadly not really knowing (or at least admitting) who they really are.
The biggest advantage with people who are real and open is that they don’t have to pretend. They are open and vulnerable so that we can identify with them, connect with them, bond with them, and work and serve wholeheartedly with them.
And so, my greatest encouragement and challenge to leaders is to be real, open, vulnerable and let people see you understand them, and are on their side.
People love to follow leaders like this.