Throughout the United States and beyond, there is an expectation that our leaders will be perfect in every way.  They will have extensive knowledge of all subjects pertaining to their work, they will be the wisest in the room, they will instantly know the answers to the most perplexing problems, and they will communicate with ease.  This expectation is a myth and hinders the ability of many leaders to grow.

Leaders like many of us have strengths and flaws.

They understand where they can contribute and where they need to be interdependent with others whose strengths and knowledge exceed theirs.

To do so requires us to listen to feedback, be self-aware, and be humble enough to accept that we are not perfect.  No one should expect a leader to be perfect and they should demonstrate transparency by stating openly if they do not know something.

In fact, one of the most significant ways we can grow as a leader is to listen to someone’s feedback.  Having mentors, and trusted peers who can speak into our work and lives is imperative.  I have a number of community leaders who I meet with to hear about their thoughts and perspectives.  These are leaders who know me well enough to ask difficult questions and provide honest feedback.

Who are you listening to related to your growth?  Who is challenging you to take the next big step?  When someone shares an uncomfortable piece of feedback, do you listen or just deny that it could be valid?

Successful leaders ensure that they are listening to all feedback and evaluating if there is some truth buried in the feedback that will fuel their growth.  Listening to others is an essential part of becoming a highly successful leader.