Perception is everything, in fact it is reality for the people who perceive the leader through this lens. Some leaders will deny or dismiss someone else’s perception of this reality due to vast number of positive traits they have. However this reasoning, or denial, does not alter their perceived reality when all they see is who we are through the one negative trait or fatal flaw. But this flaw is only fatal if left unattended.

The key to changing someone’s perception and attending to our flaw is utilizing our positive traits to manage it.  For example, imagine that the leader above has a negative trait or a fatal flaw in communication. Imagine that they are consistently communicating the wrong direction in meetings which leads to unintended miss direction that is then redirected by their reports, peers, or supervisor. However as positive traits they are relational, organized, cooperative, motivating, and hard-working. One way they can manage this perception is to use their positive traits of hard work and organization to focus on preparing their communication 15 minutes before every meeting.  Or they might use their relational and cooperative traits to build alliances have others communicate on their behalf.  Either way they are now using those powerful positive traits to manage a flaw that was fatal to those you lead and their perception.  And with time their perceptions will change.

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