Few myths are as pervasive as the notion that leaders ought to appear tough and confident. Or at least, that was the case prior to the current pandemic, which has exposed the many weaknesses of forceful, dominant leaders and highlighted the superiority of those who have the courage to reveal their vulnerabilities.
Consider how Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Jair Bolsonarodismissed the virus, displayed fearless bravado, and undermined the calls to wear a mask or socially distance, putting others at risk. Contrast this with the candid and data-driven approach taken by Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern, or Sanna Marin, which saved thousands of lives and mitigated the economic damage to Germany, New Zealand, and Finland.
People in organizations of all types are better off when their leaders are smart, honest, and…
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