Leadership & Self Deception: The Invisible Poison

self deceptionBy: Conrad Jones

Leadership & Self Deception – What does it really mean? let’s talk about how to avoid the frustration, embarrassment, and headache of sabotaging your leadership success by exploring self deception and the way it secretly poisons your ability to lead others.

Have you ever been in a situation where deep down inside you knew you should take a stand for something that you believed in, or that you should stand up for someone – like a good friend or family member, and you didn’t do it?

Or how about when you knew you should do something for someone because it was the right thing to do, and you walked away without doing it? Then what usually happens next is interesting right? You feel horrible for not doing what you knew was the right thing to do, so you begin to try and justify not doing it. We say things to ourselves like, “It wasn’t my responsibility” or that’s not my job”, or “It wouldn’t have made a difference anyway”.

That my friend, is self-deception, and the thing is every single one of us have struggled with this problem in someway or another…I know I’ve messed that up many times myself…and what causes you to know that you’re going against your inner judgment or your core ideals? well, most of us feel horrible after we have made those types of decisions.

Leadership self deception is a huge problem in leadership circles, and it is one of those things that poisons the success of many leaders today. Self deception in leadership is based on how we see people from an internal perspective, and it is this internal view that affects our ability to lead them – either positively, with good impact, or negatively, with disastrous results.

Let me explain…

Imagine that today was a holiday; you are happy because you don’t have to work, so you decide to spend some time outdoors in nature to appreciate the world we all have been blessed with right? As you’re heading out the door, you put on a pair of sunshades, but the thing is, they’re designed to make everything look pink. Yet, you ignore that little fact and go out on your hike through the woods. To make a long story short, you spend the entire day enjoying nature with your pink shades…the trees looked pink, the flowers looked pink, the sky looked pink; heck, even the animals looked pink.

Now here’s the question. Did you really see the truth of what nature had to offer, or did you see what your pink shades allowed you to see? I think you saw what the glasses allowed you to see…you saw the world painted in the color pink…and the thing is, there was so much more to experience in nature than just that one color, yet, that’s all you saw.

So, did you really get a complete perspective of the world, while on your trip? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

What does that have to do with leadership and self deception in connection with leading people?

Well, leadership is about how we relate to others; how we view them from an internal perspective; do we see them as just cogs in the machinery of the company; or as some mindless lackeys with no input and no voice; or do we see them as the real valuable people they are – significant individuals who can contribute real ideas, real creativity, and real wisdom that we can use to benefit everyone.

You see, when leaders develop a poor internal view of the people they lead, this translates into the wrong type of behaviors towards them – and this severely stagnates the growth of any leaders’ influence with others.

What does all of this mean?

As a leader, its your role to see things for the way it actually, not just according to your own personal biases and prejudges…or your own rose colored glasses. As the leader, you are responsible for everyone under your care.

Here are 3 things I’ve learned as a leader that I believe can serve you:

#1 – Make sure your perspective of those you lead is the right one – people are different; they come from varying backgrounds and environments, yet, they all have something unique to contribute – only a wise leader with broad perspective, understands how to draw the best out of their people, even in difficult times.

#2 – Make sure you never allow other people to cloud your perspective of someone else, especially in making important decisions. Everyone has biases and opinions, but as a leader, you need clear vision to help guide others in the right way.

#3 – Make sure you stay true to your values, ethics, and morals, even in the face of difficult pressure. They make up who you are as an individual, what you believe in, and what you stand for – and people always have an easier time following someone who actually stands up for what is right, even if it is unpopular.


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2 thoughts on “Leadership & Self Deception: The Invisible Poison

  1. Reblogged this on Lead Me On and commented:
    It’s all about the stories you’re telling yourself and other people!
    Feed stories that help you gather true impressions, empower authentic process, and clear, clean personal and professional development! Right on, KXW!


  2. Pingback: Leadership Thought #451 – Beware Of The Pedestal | Ed Robinson's Blog

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