The Secrets of Imperfection

You might think it’s awkward but I asked anyway.

“What makes me think you can be a leader?” The person I asked is in their early 20’s with many leadership accomplishments.

Maybe it was part humility, part fear of saying the “wrong” thing, or part sincerely not knowing, eventually they said, “I don’t know.” I said one word, “dissatisfaction.”

Dissatisfaction makes me believe
you could be a successful leader.

Why I said dissatisfaction:

  1. I wanted to take something others might see as a weakness and make it a component of strength.
  2. A person satisfied with the present can’t lead. All leaders want to make things better.
  3. I wanted to encourage them.

Not enough:

Dissatisfaction is the beginning of leadership; it doesn’t guarantee you’ll lead. Many dissatisfied people remain stuck. They never change anything. They comfort themselves by blaming others.

Dissatisfaction destroys people
unless they take responsibility for change.

Make your move:

  1. Focus on things you control. Move from dissatisfaction with current conditions to identifying and taking imperfect steps toward change.
  2. Build imperfect relationships and alliances. Make it easy for people to join you. Dissatisfied people aren’t always fun to be around. Our dissatisfaction gets old. Being dissatisfied and feeling alone is nearly unbearable.
  3. Develop imperfect solutions. The trouble with dissatisfaction is there’s never a satisfying solution.
  4. Celebrate imperfect progress. If you don’t celebrate imperfect progress, progress always ends. Forget the magic pill. It doesn’t exist.

Don’t let go of dissatisfaction; embrace it.

Deal with an imperfect world, imperfectly,
if you don’t, you’re doomed to become what you despise.

Related post: Walking the Leadership Tightrope

What role does dissatisfaction play in your life and leadership?

How do you deal with dissatisfaction?