Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What makes a good leader?

Question mark by Marco Bellucci
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes for a good leader.

At one point, I even wondered if asking that question meant I was not a good leader - if not knowing indicated deficiency.

Specifically, I've been wondering what I can do to be a better leader. If you ask my team, they will say I'm swell. I know it. But I also know I can be better. I am NOT the best I could be. But I've started wondering if that thought alone -- that understanding that I am not perfect, that others sometimes know more, that acceptance and subsequent humility -- if that is what separates me from being a great leader (and not just a pretty good one).

I wondered if perhaps leaders just don't doubt themselves. And thus, my weakness is not having that confidence.

Just yesterday I voiced this thought for the first time.
Interestingly, an answer came my way today: "If you grapple with self-doubt, keep reading. If you don’t grapple with it, you’re probably dangerous. Leaders press through the paralyzing effects of self-doubt."

It's from an article called, "In praise of self-doubt".

It seems that this self-doubt is a benefit, not a weakness. That it makes me a better leader. It leads me to ask questions, explore options -- it raises my alertness when I make decisions.

It's a great sign for me and my own perception of my self-confidence. Now I just have to get other people to read the article. :)

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