Today is April Fools’ Day. It’s a day full of pranks, silly gags, and tricks to make people look foolish.
This day can be a lot of fun. It can also cause a lot of grief.
But I don’t want to focus on April Fools tricks. Instead, I want to focus on ways leaders are foolish and how we can stop that.
How Leaders Look Foolish
My heart breaks when I see leaders act foolishly. Not only do they hurt themselves. They hurt their teams.
The frustrating thing here is that leaders can do foolish things without realizing it.
They’re fools. No, wait… We’re fools as we all do these things.
So, what can a leader do to look foolish?
A leader looks foolish when he tries to act like he knows it all: Come on guys… No one out there knows everything. It’s just not possible.
So, why do we try to act like we do?
It’s that bravado. It’s that pride. It’s our desire to look good.
But, in reality, we look foolish when we say we know it all.
You know it. They know. And those around you know it.
Get off your high horse and admit your weaknesses.
A leader looks foolish when she has a do as I say, not as I do attitude: You’re an example to your team. They’re watching what you’re doing and deciding whether or not you’re worth following.
Nothing says you’re not worthy like commanding teams to do things you’re unwilling to do.
If you really want people to follow you, you’ve got to show them you’re in it together.
Are you willing to get down and dirty when you need to? Or are you going to sit in the ivory tower barking out orders and looking foolish?
A leader looks foolish when he is unable to control his temper: Have you ever walked into a grocery store and heard a child throwing a hissy fit? Okay, maybe that was your child… Whatever the case, how did the child look?
That’s how we look when we cannot control our tempers. We look foolish.
When we go unhinged. When we yell or throw things. When we throw a pity party (yes, we still do those things)… We look foolish.
We’re not 5-years old anymore. We’re adults. We can handle issues appropriately when they come our way.
These are foolish actions that will damage your ability to lead. We want to be wiser than that. We want to be leaders who avoid the pitfalls of foolish leaders.
So, let’s not be a fool today or any other day.
Be aware of your actions and what you’re doing. When you’re conscious of these things, you’re much less likely to fall into foolish habits.