On Thursday, I participated in an insightful discussion on Imperfect Leadership hosted by Carrie Majewski and her Women in Leadership Nexus network. (Follow her on Linked In here.)

The conversation encouraged me to rethink my outmoded and limiting beliefs about what leadership is and replace them with a personal philosophy that embraces my individuality and wholeness.

I learned that leaning into my so-called imperfections gives me room to better express my unique needs and gifts.

Since Imperfect Leadership is such an important topic–whether we work in corporate or for ourselves–I wanted to share my reflections with you.

Here are the three insights about Imperfect Leadership that surfaced for me.

Imperfect Leadership means to stop making myself wrong and stop living up to someone else’s version of me. Can I let go of all the “shoulds” and self-judgment? Right now, for example, I’m resisting the call to “push hard” in this last quarter of the year opting instead for inward time and learning new skills. Who says that all days have “output” and productivity? what if we truly honored WHAT IS rather than what we’re told SHOULD BE?

Imperfect Leadership is not needing to be “put together.” Can I show up as myself? Can I honor how I’m feeling especially when “I’m not feeling it?” Can I honor my ebbs and flow and my unique pace and timing? Can I be comfortable and transparent when I’m uncertain or indecisive? Do I always have to be “on” and look the part?

Imperfect Leadership is encouraging myself and others to show up as their whole self. Can I suspend judgment of others? Can I get past the idea that there’s a right way and a wrong way of doing things? Can I let go of control and the need to be right?

This vision of leadership is thrilling and a bit scary.

It’s hard to imagine not worrying about “doing all the things” to impress and look the part. Can you imagine showing up authentically and unguarded at work and in other key relationships?

What would that open up? Who would you get to be?

For me, Imperfect Leadership frees up lots of energy so that I can focus on creating the life and business I love. And I get to be the entrepreneur who stands in my power, trusts my wisdom, and honors my gifts.

What do you think? How might leading imperfectly serve you and your dreams?