How perfectionism affects leadership?

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.” ― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

A few years back, I decided to make positive changes in my life. I began examining some of my characteristic traits. This led to a discovery of many characteristics that I possessed – some, not so great! Now I know they are traits of a perfectionist and can have a significant impact on my life – personal and professional.

These characteristics startled me because of my obliviousness for years.
As a leadership coach, I coach clients who struggle with perfectionism traits. Many boast about being a perfectionist but sadly it is not an optimistic trait.

But what is perfectionism?

Perfectionism is the inclination towards dissatisfaction over any kind of achievement that is not perceived by the person as mere perfect. Many perfectionists are high achievers who may hold leadership positions. Setting a very high bar for themselves leads to dissatisfaction in things they do in their personal and professional lives.

So, what is wrong with being a perfectionist leader?

They tend to have the following traits:

1. Micromanaging:
A good leader delegates work as much as they can. A perfectionist leader does not give room for their employees to grow and think. They muddle in the everyday task of their employees to an extent that the employees lose their motivation.

2. Dissatisfaction from unrealistic expectations:
A perfectionist leader is focused on the results to a point that the emotional well-being of the employees and colleagues takes a back seat. This behavior can lead to high criticism and exhaustion, making the leader work overtime to compensate for what they think is less than perfect. Leadership is dichotomous. Leadership comes with the two responsibilities of achieving goals while leading with empathy. A perfectionist leader can lean towards achieving goals to an extent that the employees may be ignored.

3. The right way and the only way!
A perfectionist leader may insist on their way to different projects. The employees or any team member working with these types of leaders may find it difficult due to the black and white proposals and suggestions the leader may have that can lead to constant frustration and disappointment.

4. Avoidance:
Avoidance is another significant characteristic trait in a perfectionist leader. If they feel they cannot achieve the very high standard that they have in their minds, they would rather not attempt at all. This is because failure is seen as detrimental and devastating.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development. Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. |https://hamnasiddique.com| ©2021 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

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