Recently I went for a series of meetings with other leaders. As usual in such meetings, some of the leaders were excellent, professional, and more than anything else, very sincere. Their words matched their body language; Many of the leaders present there, I knew them personally.
There were also leaders whose words did not match their body language nor did their behaviour.
I have seen this happen time and again. People portray a false image of themselves to the world outside;especially leaders, they wear a mask of professional leadership and spew out well rehearsed jargons about being proactive, being open to criticism, being collaborative, being kind and showing false concern for their subordinates.
The problem of wearing a mask and putting on a make up on it produces only transient effect; In the heat of the moment, the masks and the make up melt down rapidly and the leaders are exposed as they are.
It is possible to fool people for sometime, but not forever. A leader may think that his people are getting caught in the web of his illusion and he may actually succeed for a while, but not for too long.
Circumstances and events will destroy that illusion and suddenly everything about the leader will become crystal clear to everyone.
What is more dangerous is that the leader himself getting illusioned by his mask and make up. He may come to believe that he is truly all that he portrays to the world and much more, while he is the stark opposite of the play act.
To speak metaphorically, it is a situation where the actor who acts out the role of the Great Emperor Akbar thinking that he is Akbar himself.
Do you wear masks? Are you spinning an illusion around you? Are you getting illusioned by your own play act?
These are hard questions to ask yourself. It takes courage to unmask yourself and see yourself as you are.
You need courage to strip the mask you are wearing and the compassion to look at yourself as you are; For this is the first step to change the inner forces that are making you an "ugly" person.
If you want to be a true leader be one; It takes a lot of inner work to accomplish that.