Here in Nevada, and also in California and several other states wearing a mask or face covering is a mandate. It is a protective measure against COVID-19. I wear a mask to protect you and you wear a mask to protect me
But mask wearing is not new. Many of us hide behind a mask of a different kind. It is the Image Mask—designed to keep people from seeing the real person behind the mask. We only want to expose our best parts, those that have been refined and presentable.
We hide our issues, our problems, our struggles, and our feelings. We hide our insecurity and our battle with our self-image. We do our best to hide our weaknesses.
Leaders hide more than most. Many leaders have become leaders simply because they’ve perfected the art of looking better than they are. (In Biblical times they were called Pharisees)
Leaders are posers. Not all, but many.
I knew one leader who used to talk frequently about being open and transparent, yet he wasn’t open and transparent. When a problem of significance hit him, he wouldn’t share or talk about it. (I’m not saying we blab every last detail of our lives to everybody, but in this case, I was a confidant of this leader; close enough and caring enough that he could trust me and share freely)
That’s part of the mask, suggesting that we’re open and transparent when we really aren’t.
The false belief is that people respect us more if we present a version of ourselves that is stronger, more courageous, more “together,” and more “sinless” than we really are. It’s an image we can’t really keep up. Sooner or later the mask will come down and we will expose our real self.
So let your mask down. Be who you really are.
You will find yourself happier and the people you lead will respect you more.
*I am in no way saying we shouldn’t wear face-coverings during this time. In fact i believe we should out of love and respect of those around us. I wear a mask to protect you and you wear a mask to protect me. This blog is simply a metaphor about how we as leaders tend to cover up who we really are and pretend we’re something we are not.