The 6 words most leaders fear, but shouldn't
The best leaders are self-aware and ok with being wrong.
Most leaders fear being wrong. We’ve all been there. But, the thing is, leaders are wrong, often. I confess I’m wrong, often. Being wrong is ok, even good. Being wrong means, we are taking risks, trying new things, and failing. Being wrong means we are growing, changing, and improving. Being wrong isn’t a failure; it’s an opportunity.
Most leaders hate being wrong, and because of that, fear these 6 words:
I was wrong.
I don’t know.
Being willing to say, “I was wrong,” is hard but incredibly important in leadership. The best leaders are self-aware. They make mistakes, can recognize the mistake early, and choose to fix it.
Being willing to say, “I don’t know,” is even harder. Leaders are in positions of leadership to lead. Saying, “I don’t know,” is usually seen as not leading and is therefore completely counter to the leader’s reason for being there. But, the concept of the fearless leader that always knows exactly what to do is flawed. A great leader knows what they don’t know, doesn’t over-index their abilities, and trusts their team.
These are tough phrases for leaders, but they are important ones. We must embrace them, being willing to admit our wrongs, and enthusiastic about trusting our teams.
Great leadership reading from this week.
6 Practical Ways to Become More Self-Aware - Since I’m thinking about how leaders need to be self-aware, this article was right on the money. My favorite on the list is #4, “Question your opinions and beliefs.” What’s yours?
Ask This Question for Feedback That’s Actually Meaningful - I try to ask for feedback often, but this article helped me realize I can ask a better question. Never again ask, “what do you think?”
How to Cope With Being Underestimated - Most leaders are underestimated from time to time. This article had some great thoughts on this and ways to control what you can control.
This week I’m thinking about:
A friend and I recently started a new software company to keep groups connected. We didn’t like how in many groups, some people would be on one social network and some on another. It was hard to keep everyone connected in one place. But, we realized that everyone is on email.
So, we created TogetherLetters, a collaborative email newsletter that keeps groups connected. It’s simple, sign up a group, the group gets an email asking for an update, they give their update, and everyone gets an email newsletter that includes all the group’s updates. So far, we have seen this improve connections for families, friend groups, professional peer groups, work teams, and even internal company newsletters.
If you want to stay better connected to the important groups in your life, sign up! Groups of 10 or less are free forever.
Other great reading from the week
5 Business Lessons Learned Playing in a Punk Rock Band - I have to say, this article was pretty great. The lesson about questioning the rules resonated with me. I’ve never been a big fan of conventional thinking or the status quo.
Google Was Almost Going To Be Called “The Whatbox” - Did you know Google was once called Backrub and was almost named The Whatbox? Also, the name Google actually came from a typo. Check out the article for all the weird details.
Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y’all - My tech/comedy news podcast
Pay for pizza, with your face!
In this episode, we talk about NFTs (again), Twitter, Twitch, Tom Brady, Best Buy's new service to compete with Amazon Prime (and it may be a good deal for a lot of people), and much more.
TogetherLetters - My podcast about the app that I’m helping build to keep people better connected.
Welcome to the Jack Bauer episode!
Ok, sorry, it's not that exciting; it's just episode number 24. But, in this episode, we talk about rolling out paid plans and how we are personally using TogetherLetters. Give it a listen!
That’s a wrap!
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