What Makes Some Leaders Ugly and Others Beautiful

“Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.” Aristotle

It doesn’t matter how much jewelry you put in a pig’s snout. It still stinks.

Unattractive people can be like gentle rain in the wilderness. It doesn’t matter how bulbous their nose, they refresh everything that comes near.

Beauty invites. Ugly repels.

7 things that make leaders ugly:

#1. Anger.

#2. Arrogance.

We tolerate arrogance and its ugly cousins of pomposity and defensiveness. Every time you scramble to outshine someone, another zit grows on your chin.

Braggarts compete to make others feel small.

Arrogance disrespects people and devalues the power of connection.

#3. Neediness.

#4. Negativity.

If you want to be ugly:

  1. Notice bad everywhere and weakness in everyone.
  2. Complain frequently.
  3. Be stingy with compliments.

#5. Pettiness, taking offense, and resentment.

Every offense you nurture is a wart that multiplies.

#6. Selfishness.

#7. Distrust.

7 things to do that make you beautiful:

#1. Set higher expectations for yourself than for others.

The formula for ugliness is focusing your expectations on others.

#2 Enjoy your talent. Don’t be embarrassed, falsely humble, or braggadocious when you use your talent.

#3. Commit to contribute.

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

#4. Give second chances.

Responsible failure deserves a second chance.

#5. Let go of disappointment and notice beauty.

“… I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank

#6. Practice forgiveness.

Few things are uglier than resentment or lovelier than forgiveness. (Realize that consequences and forgiveness may walk hand-in-hand.)

#7. Create interactions that demonstrate the value of others.

“Outer beauty is a gift. Inner beauty is an accomplishment.” Randi G. Fine

What comes to mind when you recall ugly leaders you have known?

How might you pursue beauty today?