The Dangers of Leaders Who Try to be Perfect

I wanted so desperately to be a great leader.

I was 27 years old, leading a team of twenty people in a fast-growing start-up and I was responsible for about $12,000,000. Only two years prior, I led a team of exactly one (myself). Now, I was in over my head. The pressure was getting to me…and it showed.

The problem with perfectionist leaders Real leaders make the most mistakes. They break the most stuff. They are not perfect. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

I wanted to be a great leader because in my 27 year old mind, that meant two things:

  • More money
  • More prestige

But I also wanted something deeper, something less tangible than dollar bills or a write-up in the local paper and a nicer office.

I wanted to be seen as the one with all the answers. I wanted to be seen as the problem-solver. If I am being 100% honest, I wanted to be seen as…perfect.

The problem with perfection

That’s where my problems began. Perfection, or more accurately maintaining the illusion of perfection, is a 24/7 job. It required constant attention, all of my energy, and a commitment to avoiding all things risky. It required me to avoid failure at all costs…or to cover it up well if I did mess up.