October 24, 2012 by mramirez2
I feel it necessary to understand your flaws and past difficulties in order to be an effective leader. If you don’t realize the wrong things you’ve done in the past, and if you believe you are perfect in every aspect, relating to those who you are leading is almost impossible. If we engage our imperfections and prejudices, we can sort of view these negative aspects in an omniscient matter. If I tell myself “Wow, I really have to stop believing that [insert race here] does [insert action here], or stop liking people because of what they do,” it will make me realize that people probably feel the same as I do about me, and no matter who does it, it’s still wrong to do so. Judging is dangerous, and marking people with incorrect, generalized statements doesn’t let you be an effective leader because you already have an “idea” of what to expect from someone, not knowing that they may not even partake in any kind of stereotypical behavior. We can be more effective leaders by putting aside past beliefs of others as we can lead from a clean slate, assuming we are all on the same page with those we are leading.
Going to an example, I’ve never ever interacted with a Jewish person. I’ve heard stereotypes, seen their clothing, but never really talked to someone who practices the religion to fully understand their perspective. That’s when I realize I am guilty of judging people based on superficial aspects, which I don’t like, but at times cannot control. Lately after so much discussion about the topic, I’ve tried to tell myself to stop using these stereotypes even if it’s a joke. It’s just a lot more difficult because they’re so rooted into what I grew up that I don’t see it as offensive as others at times. Still, I know that if I get past these beliefs, I can be an effective leader since I don’t have any assumptions of people. Leading should just be a situation where you’re humble and you’re using what you know to help others, and even get helped yourself. So regardless, realizing our imperfections and our prejudices allows us to be effective leaders as it’s the first step into realizing what we must get rid of to gain more insight.