Old school leadership teaches us that to lead we must have a blind following; one that questions nothing we do or say. Certainly , our following will never tell us when we are wrong.
Fortunately, the realities of doing business in our modern world have promoted a new kind of leader to emerge. Leaders that understand that leadership requires humility.
They don’t own the truth or the facts.
They are not afraid to appear vulnerable with their tribe.
They understand that the best thing that can happen to them is to have their butt handed to them by their subordinates when it is called for.
Does this result in a few bruised egos in business? Certainly. But a bruised ego is less costly than driving your business into the ground because you refuse to face facts.
“Naked leadership” requires us to lead with the expectation that we will be told when we (the emperor) is not wearing clothes. In fact, you lead simply by working your weaknesses into strengths. That sometimes turns business relationships into somewhat of a circus act, where you have to close your eyes and hope the people around you will do their jobs; that they will be ready to catch you when the moment is right. But that should be the case for all relationships.
Trust and transparency in a team member is as important as the skills and experience they bring to the table. A good leader knows that.
A great leader looks for these traits in every person they bring onboard. Here’s a great post on the subject of “Naked Leadership” by my good friend Danilo Vargas on his Happy Mondays blog.