How to Be An Imperfectly Perfect Leader

It’s no secret, people like to be inspired, they want to hear advice from experts, and they crave guidance from those more successful than they, but they also connect to authenticity, and like knowing that you’re a human being who experiences the ups and downs of life too.

They want you to…

Be tangible.

Be accessible.

But also position yourself as a…

Leader and solution slinger.

Indefatigable guide with all the answers.

Wait, what?

How do you do that?

Yes, it can be a bit of a balancing act, but follow some of these suggestions and you’ll be the imperfectly perfect expert everyone wants to know.

Share your trials and tribulations after you’ve walked through them, not during the process. You can’t truly help someone if you’re still working through your challenge. The best way to be of assistance is to present a solution, otherwise you’re simply commiserating, which is not the goal. If you’re going to share a problem, always end with a solution.

Recall the times when maybe things were scary, or you had doubt, or you were ferociously beating a pillow out of frustration. What did you do to calm down, to come back to focus, to realign yourself? Keep in mind that the people you can best help are probably just a couple steps behind you, and they’re looking to you as a guide. They’re not so far behind that they can’t relate to you, but they also need you to teach them something that they haven’t yet mastered. Let them see that you’ve experienced similar issues and how you pulled through.

Make a list of what has helped you MOST along your journey. We’ve all had bits of advice that changed the course of our businesses. What changed yours? I guarantee that there is a whole slew of people who haven’t yet discovered the answers to their questions and would love for someone like you to first validate their confusion, and then guide them out of it. Sometimes you’ll share a resource they didn’t know they needed. Talk about blowing minds.

Don’t just share the hard stuff; share your wins too. People want to be inspired and knowing that you walk your talk IS inspiring. Many times I see people shy away from sharing their achievements – don’t be shy. Sing them out; be the guiding light.

Describe your process. There’s nothing as skewed as an overnight success, so if you can share the process of getting to whatever milestone or achievement you’ve reached, it will be even more powerful.

Remember that most things are universal and while people love actionable steps, what they’re really seeking is a feeling. If you can address that feeling, fear, or desire, then provide a few simple steps to achieve it, soothe it, or solve it; you will help more of your people at a deeply meaningful level and become the leader they trust.

Be yourself. Seriously, just be you. There is no substitute for authenticity, no replacement for honesty, and no alternative for real life experience. Share the version of yourself that you’re working toward while acknowledging the steps you’ve taken to get where you are. That’s the secret.

When you’re truly coming from a desire to serve, you’ll know what to reveal and what to keep simmering for a while.

Ask yourself; will this help someone? Will this piece of information, experience, or process improve a life? Will it inspire, assist, or relieve? Is it something that would have helped me?

If the answer is a robust yes, then put it out there. You’d be doing the world a disservice if you kept all your awesomeness to yourself.

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