“Good leaders don’t hide their emotions. Be vulnerable. Be authentic.”
Simplistic tosh that continues to do the rounds in the industry that is training the next generation of leaders, and undermining their ability to lead effectively.
The challenge is that there is a lot of nuance to this that is lost beneath the headlines, and most people, sadly, only read the headline and then regurgitate it.
The phrase I probably use most commonly with the leaders I work with is that “Leaders carry megaphones.”
Meaning that what you shout, say and even whisper as a leader carries throughout the organisation. What you don’t say travels just as loudly. As do how you feel and how you behave.
If you lead with frustration, frustration will follow. If you’re continually miserable, you’ll lead a downtrodden team. If you hide behind your laptop, your team will not communicate much.
In hard times, the best leaders have the emotional intelligence to manage their emotions so that they’re not insincere, but neither are they demoralising the team. The answer’s not to pretend you’re happy when you’re not, but to show the light while you’re honest about the darkness.