Emperor wears no clothes

Learn to Lead by Serving your Leader

Your Leader Is Wrong.  Now what?  Do you ever think your supervisors are wrong on an issue?  What do you do?  Do you tell them or do you allow them to sink or swim on their own?  By exposing a different perspective or a different method, you are actually demonstrating true loyalty.  You owe it to your supervisors, your peers, and your teams to provide feedback and expose a wrong path.  Yes, some supervisors are better at receiving feedback than others.  Appeal to your authority without insulting your authority.   

The King with No Clothes

Have you ever heard a leader say to a follower to “… tell me when I’m unclothed” on this issue? The parable behind the saying is a story of a king who paid a fortune for a new suit. The tailor told the king only the wisest of people could see the beauty of the suit. Unfortunately, the lazy tailor conned the king into paying for a suit that did not exist. The tailor went on to praise the king as the only worthy man in the land to wear such grand clothing. The king, of course, did not want to admit he could not see the suit. If others could see it, he was not going to admit he couldn’t see it.  He even declared he would wear this awesome clothing at the upcoming town parade.  His subjects, so fearful of the king and embarrassed they could not see his clothing, admired his suit as he paraded down the streets. The subjects also did not want to admit they failed at what only the wise could do.  Finally a small child stepped forward in the street and cried “Look mom the king doesn’t have any clothes on.”  Everyone realized, including the king himself, he was in fact “unclothed”. Tragically, the proud king continued the parade “unclothed,” because he was too proud to admit his mistake.  

To be a leader is not a worthy goal–it’s simply ambition.  To make an impact provides growth, fulfillment, and improves something.  A biblical proverb proclaims “without a vision, the people perish.”  Work together with your leadership to ensure your unit’s vision is not “unclothed”–expose a vision for what it is–good or bad.

Your turn to sound off. in the comments below and tell your “unclothed” moment.

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