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Chris LoCurto


April 28, 2014

5 Ways You’re Deceiving Yourself As A Leader

April 28, 2014 | By | 16 Comments">16 Comments

Coaching leaders and entrepreneurs to become better at leading, decision making, and growing their businesses is an incredible blessing to me!

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While people ask me to coach them on a wide variety of topics, there are usually two main reasons:

Help them fix ______________


Give them experienced advice on questions they struggle to answer.

Quite often, I find many leaders were trained by…well…bad leaders. Therefore, they have bad belief systems in their own leadership.

With bad belief systems usually comes self-deception. The kind of deception that seems to make sense at the time, but when removed and inspected reveals the depth at which it holds one back from self or team progress and growth.

Here are five common ways leaders deceive themselves:

  • It’s not about you – The most common deception I see, especially with entrepreneurs, is the belief that leadership is about them. Nothing could be further from the truth. By it’s very definition, leadership is getting people to follow you. That doesn’t happen when you’re a dictator. Sure, you can force them into doing what you want, but you’ll get half their productivity and absolutely zero loyalty.
  • You’re not the only smart one – Being the one with all the ideas is not only tiring, but it’s also defeating the purpose. A great leader hires people who are smarter than they are. A scared leader doesn’t. You should be taxing the collective intelligence for two reasons – God didn’t give you all the great ideas, and when you foster your teams input, you gain respect, buy-in, loyalty, and ownership.
  • You can’t hide your faults – You have faults, embrace that understanding. So many leaders that I’ve met through the years believe they can hide their faults from their team. The funny/sad thing is they already know your faults. They see them because they spend more time working with you than anything else they do. Thinking you can hide your faults everyone is not only ridiculous, but it’s unnecessary. Lose any pride or ego, be aware of your weaknesses, and don’t hide them. Instead, hire people who are strong where you are weak.
  • Conflict will work itself out – Whooooamagosh no it won’t! Let’s be honest, no great leader likes drama. But you have these emotional things in your business called people. And most of them don’t truly understand how to communicate with each other, which is why we have little conflicts that turn into really big ones if a leader doesn’t fix them. Get on it! And while you’re at it, have your people take their DISC already! Geez! It’ll change your whole company.
  • I don’t bring my personal life to work – Bah! Probably the biggest self-deception of all. While you think you’re leaving your personal stuff at home, you’re actually bringing most, if not all, of it to work with you. You see, we make decisions based on our past and our influencers. Recently, I did a podcast called Understanding Your Root System where I explain how we bring so much of our parents, teachers, leaders, etc. into our business because we have NO CLUE how much they’ve influenced us. That means the good and the bad. If you’ve heard anything about the LifePlan events that we do, then you’ve heard how powerful understanding this is.

The most important part of being a strong leader is knowing your weaknesses. You can’t do that if you’re not getting the truth, especially if it’s not coming from you.

Question: How have you deceived yourself?

  • Joe Lalonde

    One that many people don’t think about is that What I do outside of work doesn’t really matter. It’s wrong on so many levels.

    We found this out with our youth group. We’d be out and about when a student would surprise us out of the blue. Had we been doing something inappropriate, our roles as leaders would have been compromised.

    • Chris LoCurto

      So true Joe! I had a heightened awareness back in my youth pastoring days, but that shouldn’t change now either.

  • Deacon Bradley

    Wait… I brought my personal stuff to work??? Oh no!

    I know it’s just self-deception, but I like to think I’m pretty compartmentalized when it comes to work and personal life. *think* that is. I’ve got the Root System podcast queued up for the ride home to learn more about this blind spot.

  • Lily Kreitinger

    I’ve probably have hit all of them in my leadership roles at one point, but the one that stands out is the conflict part. As a high “I” personality, I want everyone to be happy and get along. I was SHOCKED when I found out that it all comes from the way I was raised, in a family where we shoved conflict under the rug until the rug looked like a landfill. It is entirely true that we bring ourselves to work every day and that includes the influence of people who have shaped us in the past.

    Best thing a leader can do is recognize the deception, and start throwing the trash into the appropriate receptacles to move themselves and their team forward.

    • Chris LoCurto

      AAAAAAMEN Lily!

  • DESIGNS by Rashada

    I think my biggest mental block was in perpetuating the myth of the “one man band”. It’s taken me a while to understand that the new mantra of “Make a lot Friends” definitely applies when trying to build a company of lasting value. Though we may be entrepreneurs, accustomed to wearing many hats, community and working together brings so much to the table. I’m still learning this ;)

    • Chris LoCurto

      Absolutely. I had a leader that would tell me, Tuck your cape in your pants Superman, you can’t do it all. :)

  • Matt Ham

    Dude could I have a conversation with you on this one (and probably should). Seems like I’m living 1-5 right now…

    • Chris LoCurto

      HAHA…yes you can!

  • Zechariah Newman

    Great post Chris. One of my biggest fears is that I will be the blind leading the blind.
    My biggest struggle in deception for years was that problems would work themselves out. So stupid now but hey blind is blind:)
    Right now I am sure I am oblivious to some things that ten years from now I will laugh at myself for my ignorance.

    • Chris LoCurto

      That’s the great thing about experience Zechariah, you get to learn what you didn’t already know. :D

  • Matt McWilliams

    My overarching one was that I could treat people however I felt like it and then expect them to “drop and give me 20” when I needed them to.

    I could undertrain, ignore, and dismiss ideas and then expect them to perform at a high level, be engaged, and be creative and offering new ideas. Yeah, sure.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Powerful Matt! You weren’t the only one. I’ve coached a LOT who felt the same way.