Self-love is overrated 

How many times have you heard that you have to love yourself?

Worse, that you have to learn to love yourself first, as if without this magical substructure, little else is possible.

Some stretch the friendship further, demanding you love yourself unconditionally.

Unconditionally? Is that even possible, desirable?

For example, in the middle of a mess that I’ve made by not acting soon enough, which upends my world but also those who depend on me for whatever reasons (stability, security) – should I love myself? Not necessarily. I can resent myself. I can resent myself and care. I can resent myself and still rebuild.

What about the wo/man who deliberately deliberately setting up a friend? Or the psychopath slowly and deliberately executing a colleague’s fall? Should they love themselves? No. Get thee to a nunnery, they should admonish themselves. Get help. Go.

To those who love themselves I would like to say ‘wow how great’ but I don’t know if it is. I need more information.

I assume that a degree of self like, that includes reproof when needed, allows us to get on with things. But I’ve seen too many people walk away from the ruins without a backward glance, because they’ve convinced themselves it’s okay, they’re okay. And I think this is why self-love is on the nose for me.

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Platitudes undermine credibility

The leadership space is peculiarly susceptible to platitudes.

But oversimplification makes them inadequate for dealing with the real difficulties that people face.

We relate to the grain of truth that a platitude embodies but often apply them in the wrong context in ways that do not fully reflect the complexities of a situation.

Part of a leader’s role is to help others be stretched but not overwhelmed by a problem.

Think about the leader who says bring me solutions not problems. In such cultures, employees may lose confidence if they don’t have an answer or feel it’s pointless to raise real issues that require multiple inputs to solve and that could become problematic and expensive down the track.

A more balanced approach might be to say: let’s talk this through. First tell me what you’ve done so far and some of your ideas. 

It’s less snappy to be sure.

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