Business can be cut-throat, and can lead employers to stop at nothing to be the best. This determination is what leads an organization to success, but it is not always how leaders earn the respect of their workers. You’ve been hearing the phrase “nobody’s perfect!”, or even “pobody’s nerfect!”, ever since you got a bad mark in elementary school. It may be a general and shallow term meant to degrade the talents of others, but the sentiment remains, especially in business. Acknowledging the missteps and bad decisions you have made in a leadership position or as an employee is an integral building block to a workforce assembled on trust, respect, and entrepreneurship.

Rajeev Schroff writes about the importance of acknowledging your mistakes as an employer in his article “Why Great Leaders Admit Their Mistakes”. He establishes four main positive outcomes to the admission of fault, and explains how they benefit the workplace. Primarily, Schroff highlights that vulnerability strengthens the team. Many people associate mistakes with weakness, and this fears employers; however, contrary to popular belief, showing vulnerability does not undermine the executive presence, it gives a deeper sense of accountability. Secondly, Schroff identifies the importance of respect. Not only does admitting your mistakes make you closer with your employees, but it also helps gain respect both ways. In creating an environment transparent to all aspects of business, including missteps, employees will value and respect the choices and risks you take much more than if you only admit to your successes. Sequentially, an area that Schroff then focuses on is employee engagement. He testifies that by taking up difficult challenges and risks in the workplace, employees will be more encouraged to follow in your footsteps; employees will start to take initiative and start making decisions without fears of making a ‘wrong’ choice. Finally, Schroff speaks to the civilization of trust built in a workplace that comes with the realization that nobody is perfect. This society within your workplace will work with the strength of transparency and initiative, which in turn stimulates employee innovation and growth, helping an organization strive with alignment and a working attitude.

In our Kiy HR Perspective, everyone in business has their own unique personality and way of doing things. Working with the many personalities that we do, including our own, it can be difficult to keep everyone on the same track and working towards a general organizational goal. Workplaces that have mastered working with diverse individuals are those who have established that nobody in the business is perfect. We all make mistakes, and it can be very tough to admit, especially if you are an employer. As an employer, you may be working towards a type of leader that is a squeaky-clean role model to your workers, but this is not what the organization needs. Admitting that you, as an employer, do make mistakes and owning up to them makes all the difference when building a strong and trusting workforce. This does not equate to being reckless with decision-making and risk-taking, it means to be empowering and confident in decisions that may not turn out the way you would like. Making tough decisions and being empowering during a crisis earns respect from your co-workers and employees, and empowers them to do the same. This powers innovation in the workplace, and with innovation, your organization is running on a full tank of ideas. If your employees see that you can own up to mistakes, they will be more apt at pushing goal limits with less or without fear of failure. Admitting your mistakes doesn’t just make you a decent person, it makes you an empowering leader.

In the wake of this discussion of what makes a great leader, our office took a quiz to determine what kind of leader we would be! Take the quiz below, share and comment what you got, we’d love to know! here are our results!

Teresa Kiyawasew, HR Consultant – Selfless Leader

“You always put others’ well-being ahead of your own. People come to you for support and guidance. You are a pillar of strength and stability.”

Nickie Brooke, HR Consultant – Selfless Leader

“You always put others’ well-being ahead of your own. People come to you for support and guidance. You are a pillar of strength and stability.”

Shelly Hemmerling, Business Development Representative – Honourable Leader

“You make every move with integrity. People come to you for your strong moral compass. You lead with sincerity and people respect you for it.”

Jade Deputan, Administrative Assistant – Logical Leader

“You make calculated decisions based on learned experiences. People come to you to solve complex problems. You lead with your knowledge, which makes your choices that much more effective.”

 

The Kiy HR Perspective

 

 

Schroff, Rajeev. “Why Great Leaders Admit Their Mistakes”. LinkedIn, 28 February 2018.

“What Kind of Leader Are You?” Buzzfeed Quiz

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