All Dressed UP For What?
Think for a moment about your picture of an ideal “leader”.
If you were asked, how would you describe that visual?
Now let’s pose this question … does your “ideal leader” look like a polished, well groomed individual, one whom people would want to place on the cover of a magazine? Or is your picture one of an average person, yet someone who has an invisible trait that makes him or her one of character and a true leader?
It’s ironic to know that while many people clamor for authentic leaders, they will abandon their values to follow or align themselves with those leaders that are dressed UP for the role.
We all know the type. These are the people that look good, smell good, talk a good game, and present well.
Sad to say that many (not all) of the people we defer to as our leaders fail to be more than what they dress themselves UP to be.
Some reasons why we disregard our values to elevate leaders of this type:
- We think their looks make them a natural leader – as people we would rather follow those that are more comely
- They must have the skills we lack – in conjunction with the previous point, we assume that they must have the skills that we believe we don’t have (but may, we’re just willing to let the “naturals” ascend in our place)
- They portray a confidence we may not necessarily have in ourselves – we know what the right course of action is, but are afraid to speak up about
- They articulate well enough to sell us on their agenda – and promise the things we want but may not need
- We are looking more for a quick fix – long-term character will bring more far-reaching and sustainable results
We must exercise discernment in choosing our leaders because the results may be disastrous if we choose unwisely. The Israelites of biblical times choose their first king, Saul, based upon his looks and stature, with terrible repercussions. Many other countries throughout history have fallen into the trap of good looking, stylish leaders who brought no real leadership skills to the table.
Coaches , businesspersons, and celebrities have all had within their ranks people who dressed the part but failed to deliver as a leader in some capacity.
Leaders should be chosen on the basis of their character and leadership abilities rather than how they present themselves in a given situation. Companies that are looking for a “frontman” to place as the icon of the organization without any substance in their character will soon have some decisions to make when the looks and words only carry them so far.
Whether your electing, hiring, or seeking to align yourself with a particular individual, don’t get caught UP in how they’re dressed. Strip them down to their true selves by getting to the heart of their personality and validate their ability to lead.