Real Over Right

1 min read

Imperfect Fern Leaf

Leadership is hard.

As someone who is obsessed with leadership topics, I find myself burdened by the never-ending list of expectations that I feel are implicitly expected of leaders.

The image of being a compelling, challenging, and competent leader always weighs on my mind. And especially during quarantine where many unknowns arise, the anxiety of making sure things run smoothly feels all the more real.

But recently, I’ve been listening to Craig Groeschel’s leadership podcast, and one of the phrases he mentions at the end of each episode has provided a much-needed perspective:

People would rather follow a leader that’s real, than a leader that’s right.

Real rather than right.

That statement hit hard as I noticed that recently I had started to focus on the results of my work rather than the authenticity of my actions.

Rather than being real, I was trying to be right.

Though there’s nothing wrong with trying to excel in the things one is responsible for, something is wrong when authenticity and empathy are sacrificed to uphold unrealistic expectations and images of oneself.

The reality is, everyone is human, especially leaders, and many moments I get too caught up in the idea that leaders need to have it all together.

As I’m trying to accept the advice shared by Craig, though I feel the image I built up for myself begin to fall apart, there is a comfort knowing that I don’t have to have it all together.

To be real, rather than be right.