PPI #83 How Your Mistakes Hold The Key To Stronger Leadership

Nov 30, 2020
 

SUMMARY

  • Your mistakes actually hold the key to stronger leadership. When was the last time you told your team that you messed something up or that something was your fault?
  • Today I want to talk to you about how your need to feel safe is actually making your team feel unsafe and is holding you and the team back. Up your leadership game by focusing on demonstrating more vulnerability with your team. 
  • If a leader creates an environment which doesn't tolerate mistakes and the leader, him or herself doesn't ever admit to any mistakes, then the team will be very hesitant to do anything that puts their neck out.
  • When everyone plays things safe the level of achievement goes down. Why? Because we're staying within our comfort zone. Our success, however, is connected to stepping just outside our comfort zone.
  • So we need to make sure that we're not coming across as mistake-proof. When was the last time, for example, that you said to your team, "We didn't achieve this goal and it's because of me. It's my fault. You know, I messed that up." Or, "I know we made this decision, but that was the wrong decision. And that came from me. I inspired that decision. I'm sorry, I messed up."
  • Shine a spotlight on your mistakes so that your team feels okay with making theirs and your results will go through the roof.

TRANSCRIPT

Your mistakes actually hold the key to stronger leadership. When was the last time you told your team that you messed something up or that something was your fault? Today I want to talk to you about how your need to feel safe is actually making your team feel unsafe and is holding you and the team back from achieving everything that you could achieve. But more importantly, today I want to talk to you about how you can create more safety with your team and be a stronger leader.

Hi everyone. My name is Eric Partaker, author and peak performance expert, and today we're talking about how to up your leadership game by focusing on demonstrating more vulnerability with your team. Because what happens is that when you only demonstrate infallibility, when you demonstrate to your team that you don't make any errors, then you're not actually demonstrating strong leadership. Actually what you're doing is making them feel very unsafe.

They feel unsafe because you're representing something which isn't real. You're representing a mistake-proof existence, and they know deep down within themselves that they're full of mistakes and that they'll continue to make mistakes. But if their leader demonstrates an environment which doesn't tolerate mistakes and the leader, him or herself doesn't ever admit to any mistakes, then it will make them very hesitant to want to do anything that puts their neck out. Anything that might showcase a weakness. And if that's happening, people start to play very, very safe. And when they're playing very, very safe, your level of achievement goes way down, right? Because we're staying just within our comfort zones, we're not getting just outside our comfort zone and all of our success, all of our potential individually, on a micro basis within a team, on a macro basis, it all is connected to stepping just outside our comfort zone.

I mean, think about it this way. If you kept doing all the things that you knew how to do comfortably, do you think you'd continue progressing and learning? Would you continue developing as a person? Equally with your company. If you have a company and if a company just kept playing it safe and doing the same thing all the time so that it never made a mistake, would that company develop and progress as quickly and as powerfully as it could?

So as leaders, we need to make sure that we're not coming across as being infallible. We need to make sure that we're not coming across as mistake-proof. You know, when was the last time, for example, that you said to your team, "We didn't achieve this goal and it's because of me. It's my fault. You know, I messed that up." Or, "I know we made this decision, but that was the wrong decision. And that came from me. I inspired that decision. I'm sorry, I messed up."

The moment you lift the veil on your infallibility, the moment that you demonstrate that you're just a person like the rest of them also capable of making mistakes and that you do make mistakes, and the moment you demonstrate that vulnerability, then you make your team feel safe. So your need to feel safe will make your team feel unsafe. If you demonstrate that you make mistakes, that's what makes your team feel safe. Then they feel like they can be real, human and make the same sorts of mistakes that you've made perhaps, or that they know that they make on a daily, regular basis.

So what I'd encourage you to do very, very specifically is look forward to the next time that you make a mistake. I want you to be excited about it because it's a chance for you to totally upgrade your leadership. It's a chance for you to transform the results and the unity in the team. And when you make that mistake, call it out, be the first to call it out, say that, you're sorry. Say that you let your team down so that they realize that they can also demonstrate that vulnerability towards you. Shine a spotlight on your mistakes so that your team feels okay with making theirs and your results will go through the roof.

So I hope you've enjoyed that. And if you head over to my website at ericpartaker.com, you can also subscribe to my weekly peak performance insights newsletter.