The Perfect Leader does not exist. Sorry to tell you this, but it is true.
A good or great leader is one who continually improves themselves and their team through ongoing training, reading, coaching, etc. But this not only done from the leader with the team, but the leader themselves. Even I have a coach to help me through my leadership development. This helps me keep on track in my growth, but also allows me to grow my team too as I can pass on valuable lessons.
Let's start with training. We all have it and we may encourage our team to find training to help them in their current position, but when was the last time you took some training to help you? The training does not necessarily have to be on leadership, it can be on just improving your skills or knowledge for your position. For example, I manager the HR function and I ensure I attend training often via web training, in person training, and even with a legal seminar to keep updated on the latest court decisions. This type of training helps me continue to keep on top of the ever changing HR world and legalities, as well as ensuring my employees are also kept updated and current. I also enjoy learning about leadership through training as well, and as having been a trainer on various parts of leadership, it helps me develop this knowledge and my ability to pass it on.
Reading is another great way to learn and is very inexpensive (or free at a library). You can read many books specifically about leadership, but there are many others out there about: personal development, organization, quality standards and so many more that can help with many facets of organizations and leadership. My suggestion is to do a strengths and weaknesses chart on your own skills. This helps you visually see where you believe you may need some growth. Perhaps even share this with a trusted member of your household or work team to see if they agree or not - you may be surprised at what they tell you. After you know what weakness is your biggest challenge, purchase and read the books that will help you grow there first.
Coaching is a great way to grow your skills. Coaching does not always focus specifically on your leadership skills, For example, a coach will help you assess your skills and grow the ones that are affecting your leadership. What does this mean? Maybe it means that it is not your business skills that are slowing down your leadership development, but it is the stress of having your parents to look after at home, financial issues, work/life balance and so many more. Coaches help you see this and understand where you can improve for your overall wellbeing. When you are doing well, you bring positivity to your team, you encourage them, lead them, work with them, to be your best team always.
So, the next time someone tells you that they are a perfect leader, you remember this...how can they be perfect in an ever changing world, with new struggles for you and your team (think Covid19)? You can be a great leader though! Keep moving forward and if you fall down, pick yourself back up and try, try again!
Take care everyone and stay safe!