There is an old joke that is not all that kind to girls. And it goes like this: “She was so homely looking that the only thing that improved her looks was distance.”
Do you see? I told you it wasn’t very nice. So, I apologize to all of the women in our audience. That old joke is the set-up for my article.
Maybe I am a little preoccupied with the concept of distance since I am writing this from a hotel room about 7600 miles from home. And I desperately would like to be in much closer proximity to the ones that I love.
Does “distance” affect the way that you are perceived as a leader? In other words, does your leadership look the same up close as it does from a comfortable distance? Or are you afraid that if folks get really close to you they will see the real you? And maybe the real you isn’t the kind of leader that you think you are.
I am not indicating that we should act in any way so that we will gain favor in the eyes of those that we love. That would put us in the camp of the “people pleasers.” People pleasers don’t usually make good leaders. Instead I am asking us to consider whether or not we are genuine and that we look the same up close as well as from a distance where our flaws are not as readily noticeable.
So now we are back to the set-up joke. Am I so flawed and blemished as a leader that I only appear acceptable from a distance?
Obviously we all have flaws and blemishes in our physical complexion. And our leadership is really no different. There are many imperfections that become noticeable the more time that we are in close proximity to one another. The good news is that those who see those flaws most often are those that we love and those that are the most likely to be willing to overlook those flaws.
I hope that you are working to become a better leader. I hope that you are not afraid to let folks get close to you for fear of what they might see or think. And I hope that those who know you best think you are a great leader from up close and afar.
And I hope to be much closer to home in a few days.