Pastor Craig Groeschel has a great quote on leadership: “People would rather follow a leader that is real than one that is always right.” He’s on target because great leadership is about trust. If people don’t trust you, they won’t follow you – no matter how “right” your decisions.
The problem is, most leaders feel like they’ll lose the confidence of their team, employees, or followers if they change their mind about an issue. Their insecurities force them to stay on course no matter how wrong that course may be.
We saw that played out here in the United States with our national leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though new information was coming in, data was being updated, and early estimates were proven wrong, medical and political leadership stayed the course. While our economy was being crippled, mental health plummeting, children falling behind in school (and much more), I can’t recall anyone at the national level actually admitting they were wrong, and adjusting their policies based on the new information.
So it’s not surprising that during that time, polls indicated that the American people’s trust in those leaders plummeted as well.
People trust a leader who is open to new information, willing to be challenged, and knows the world is changing by the minute. Not someone who is wishy-washy or is constantly swayed by the latest fad, but one who sees the world as it is, and is willing to respond.
Egotistical leaders find that kind of honesty and openness a challenge. But confident leaders know that reality is more important than their assumptions.
It’s worth repeating: “People would rather follow a leader that is real than one that is always right.”