In praise of "In praise of damaged leaders", by Martin Davidson, in the Washington Post

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 00:08.

One guy I knew in high school would make a difference in the world is Martin Davidson - smart and 100% competent and together at all times, in every way - and he is now Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where he also serves as Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer. He blogs at Leveraging Difference. He also is frequently published in the Washington Post, as a Scholar "On Leadership."

I've been following his writing and thought realNEO members and leaders may find value in his latest column, in the Washington Post, that offers some relief from the pressure we all may feel to be perfect, rather than our flawed selves. This does not offer excuses for anyone, but does offer a level of understanding with gateways forward from troubled times, through equally troubling times ahead.

We need to get together, all our flaws and all.

Thanks to realNEOan from afar Martin Davidson for these valuable thoughts, posted on Washington Post... which begin...

In praise of damaged leaders

Barack Obama still sneaks cigarettes. Gordon Brown has a mean temper. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin struggles with her weight. At what point do a leader's personal vices begin to undermine effectiveness? Is it better to hide them or acknowledge them?

The greatest misstep I see contemporary leaders make is trying to look flawless. There is a model of leadership out there that says that in order to be an effective leader, a person must appear to be more knowledgeable, more competent, more ethical, more poised, and more inspiring than the people she or he leads.

and end...

The great leaders of the 21st century will be very competent at what they do, make no mistake about that. But they will also be courageous in their willingness to support their people, even if it means being seen under harsh lighting. They will know what they don't know and will be open to having others teach them. Our next great leaders will dare to be flawed and that, in part, is why people will follow them.