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Leaders are often imagined to always be in control and an expert in almost everything. They are idealised by the media, educational system and social media.
Since infallibility is not possible, it makes sense that we resist admitting mistakes and are ready to protect an image of ourselves.
This idea of leadership is bad for leaders and businesses as it limits an organisation's ability to be successful.
The likelihood of having perfect answers or solutions to all the challenges we face is very low. Leaders who strive to have all the answers will prevent team creativity and stay stuck in outdated thinking models.
Inquiry-driven leadership is one method of dealing with uncertainty. Ask questions that are productive such as "what" and "how" to help frame problems and move toward positive outcomes.
Being vulnerable and authentic as a leader means admitting errors instead of sweeping them aside to protect your image. But putting on a show actively discredits them.
Instead, declare the mistake as soon as possible to everyone involved. While it can be challenging, state the nature of the error succinctly and apologize if relevant. Then, spend your time finding the cause of the mistake.
Failure can be a great learning experience. The key is to make "smart" failures by fostering two conditions among the team.
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