Great leaders tend to be individuals who are strong and confident, yet vulnerable and humble as well. This is something I had to learn as a leader. When you’re insecure or green in this arena, it’s tempting to give off an aura of strength or overtly-strong confidence. But very often what you think is assurance and tenacity, is often interpreted as arrogance or creates a fearful environment. There’s a difference between the two. In general, if you come off as pompous and self-important, your actions will turn people off.
People do not respond well to prideful, arrogant, self-glorifying, or controlling ways in which we try to hold onto things that we really shouldn’t. Leaders, whether they’re pastors of large churches, empty nesters, or founding CEOs, sometimes have a tough time letting go or passing the baton to the next generation of leaders. I think the reason is apparent: They care tremendously and have dedicated everything they have, including investing their time and energy. Seasoned leaders don’t have to operate with a self-aggrandizing disposition, haughty attitude, or have a high opinion of himself or herself. It’s self-defeating.
Friend, practical wisdom suggests that people respond well to vulnerability. You will find freedom when you realize how much of a burden it is to prove yourself to people and continually put on an act. It’s important to surround yourself with people who invite you to truly be yourself. You don’t have to feel the loneliness and emptiness of always feeling like you have to prove yourself to others.