Who is that person in the mirror

Sometimes the person we see isn’t who our employees see.

Written for Dairy Herd and originally published in January 2020. 

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  I am not talking about your good looks, your financial status or your rocking abs; I am referring to your persona.


Often, we believe we are someone quite different than the impression we leave with others.  Is it our vibe, our distant engagement, or our drive to move forward at a fast pace?  We have all been taught that it does not matter what others think of us; we are our own person.  That may be true up to a point.  If we lead as if we are perfect, but our teams sense something else, are we effective leaders?

The importance of understanding how you are perceived is simple, and it shows in employee retention, contentment, and growth of your teams.

We must understand ourselves, how we act, and how we react if we want to be a good leader.

If we were to ask our partners and employees how we rate, many of us would be surprised.  When a leader states they are a great boss, the employees may think he or she is ruthless, demanding, unappreciative, and only looking out for themselves.


This sounds harsh, but what matters the most in a leadership role is how we are perceived by others – our teams.

It takes humility and accurate self-perception for a leader to grow as a leader.  A leader with a false perception tends to put the blame on others; “it’s not me, it’s my employees; I just need better employees.”

Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself:
  • Do you truly take the time to include others in your decision-making?
  • Do you listen to what others have to say and at least consider their ideas?
  • Are you recognizing and giving others credit for success?
  • Do you take in and solicit feedback from your partners and employees?
  • Do you understand what makes your employees tick?  What are their motivations in life?
  • Do you inspire others to improve themselves as a person and employee?
  • Are you empowering or controlling?
  • Do you let employees try their ideas from time to time, or do you insist everything is done your way?
  • Are you willing to change or just protect how you have always done it?
  • Do you pay attention to how your behavior affects others?
  • Do you bring joy to the workplace (and laughter), or do employees fear you?


Take a long look in the mirror again. Are you the person your employees see?  Effective leadership begins with understanding yourself and your willingness to adjust your leadership style. A new year is a great time to reflect and grasp changes that will make you an even better leader!





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