Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a leading online distributor of kitchen cabinets, found that the average bag of chips is 43% air. Cheetos leads the way with 59% air and Fritos might just be your best deal with only 19% air. This led me to wonder… what percentage of CEOs are mostly hot air (lies, exaggerations, nonsense)?
According to Mike Myatt, Chairman N2Growth and author of Hacking Leadership, “Not surprisingly, CEOs tend to rate themselves very highly, but sadly, their self-evaluations don’t always measure up to how those who work for them would rate them.”
Myatt defines the chasm between a leader’s self-perception, and the reality of how those they lead perceive them, as part of the leadership gap that exists in most organizations today. His conclusion? We have a long way to go. Leadership isn’t a role, title or position, but a set of values and behaviors. CEOs – and leaders in general – can do better and they should.
But how? It starts with self-reflection and an awareness of how others perceive you, not how you perceive yourself. If you can’t acknowledge and face your development areas, you can’t overcome them. Once you have identified where you most need to grow, stay optimistic and positive as you move into learning mode and discover ways to improve. At this point you need to embrace change and not take anything personally. We all have development areas. Instead of beating yourself up for your past, pat yourself on the back for putting a plan in play to improve and grow.
What Can I Do? The first step is determining how you are perceived at work. The Harvard Business Review published an exercise to find out, which you can use to begin the journey. Fortunately, this leadership gap is not insurmountable – through knowledge and a commitment to change, one can shrink the chasm and become a better leader.