Every person has that one coworker, family member, or manager who has a slightly deluded idea of his or her own strengths. Maybe your boss thinks she is an amazing public speaker, when you’ve seen clients falling asleep when she talks. Maybe your brother thinks he is absolutely hilarious, when really his jokes elicit mere pity laughs.
Here’s the thing many managers get wrong: delusion is not a problem for us to solve. Rather, it’s the source of grit and resilience.
I hope that your boss and your brother are positively deluded. I hope that you are positively deluded. Because that delusion is what causes us to keep going, to climb higher, and to do things that others think we can’t do. Resilience and grit are merely the desperate attempt to bring reality in line with your slightly deluded sense of who you are.
And as a manager – or really, as a person – it’s not your job to show people where they fall short. Where they fail. Don’t hold a mirror up to your team members’ delusions – show them where they fly, where they succeed, and where they are strong. Delusion can do great things for us, but strengths – strengths are where success begins.