An Imperfect Leader? Perfect.

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Follow a leader who walks with a limp, the man said.


Yes, a leader who walks with a limp has a respect for the trail and has to pace himself. He won’t rush on ahead of you. He has also discovered his own limitations and so will understand yours.  However he has recovered sufficiently to overcome them, and will help you do so too.

Good leaders are not those who have immaculate suits and a PR team.  They are those who know what it is like to have sleepless nights, financial pressure, physical pain, and rejection, and have emerged from these trials “better, not bitter.”

I wouldn’t want to follow a leader who is fearless, either. I want to follow people who are courageous. A person who is fearless cares nothing for  danger. A courageous leader knows how important it is to recognise danger, accept it and determinedly move beyond it.

No, give me an imperfect leader any day, one who has been humbled by the acceptance of his or her own limitations, and has set about dealing with them; a leader who has matured beyond the buccaneering, devil-may-care, immature attitudes evident in those who have not yet sufficiently hurt.

In January this year I had a motorbike accident that could have cost me my life, or at least a long spell in an orthopaedic hospital. The accident wasn’t my fault (the ‘other side’ admitted full responsibility) but I hurt a lot for many weeks, and still do. In a split second it matured my motorbiking experience, making me more aware of others’ limitations, not least of see me coming! So what have I

Crossing the Lysbotn Pass in Norway.
Crossing the Lysbotn Pass in Norway.

done in response to that accident? I’ve fitted daytime riding lights to give others a better chance of seeing me; I now ride maybe 5 mph slower to give them that bit of extra time and distance to adjust; and I generally avoid riding in twilight on unfamiliar roads. Yes, the excruciating pain I initially experienced and the subsequent permanent injuries have changed me. Sometimes, when my ankle is really sore, I even walk with a limp.

So when it comes to biking that might just be, well, …

… perfect?

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