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Podcast: Why we want a perfect leader... #dirtylaundry

Danielle and I (Cameo) have our chats about life and we share them here once a month. This week we're going to jump right in, head first, no precursor...and it's about our humanity, our failures, and our need for grace.

After all the mistakes I've made, lessons I've learned, and humility I've gained, I have yet to understand the standard of perfection we have for others, especially our leaders. From our elected officials to our faith leaders and even corporate head honchos, there seems to be an expectation of purity that directly correlates to greatness. It's as though the person in the position of leadership is to lead a life free of mistakes and without flaws.

I want to be extremely clear though, this conversation is about holding humans to an impossible standard of perfecting their past. 'Perfecting their past' is the key phrase here.

Over the past few weeks, I've seen time and time again, post after post, about leaders in their respective fields being dog walked because their past. I'm not talking about a transgression they did last year, 5 years ago, or even a decade ago, but rather something they did 20 and 30 years ago.

I want to be clear here as well, I don't care how long ago your failure, mistake, wrongdoing, lapse in judgement and/or character was, you still need to be held accountable and accept responsibility for your actions. (And I don't know what the atonement looks like). Also what I do not know is, at what point is a person's past, their actual past. At what point do we not throw the entire person away for something they did over two decades ago or heck, maybe even 5 years ago.

Because, if someone were to bring up some of my choices from my collegiate days at Howard University...

My reaction:

Oooooh that's what we are doing?

Especially because I've grown, changed, become a better person as a result AND my track record has proven otherwise.

So why on earth do we hold those in positions of influence and power to a standard of a perfect past? I can say for certain, that thee absolute best life lessons have come from mistakes. But yet and still when there is the stench of foul play, a misstep, or a flat footed wrong decision -oftentimes our response is throw away the entire person.

It's as though their leadership position some how instantly converts them to some type of deity and anything short of that is blasphemous. When the reality is, all of our leaders, chiefs, bosses are fully human but with more responsibility.

What I am not saying:

  • Leaders should not be held to higher standard

  • Leaders do not have to answer to their track record

  • Accountability is not required in leaders

What I am saying:

  • Extend grace

  • We all fall short

  • Take the beam out of your eye

So listen as we ponder and come to some conclusions as to why we want and expect the perfect leader? It's not all bad. I think I want a perfect leader too...


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