The old adage that comparison is the death of joy exists for a reason. Both Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt were right when they cautioned against this way of thinking. Comparing oneself to another can have multiple negative consequences, especially if the other person is in a leadership position. Presenting confidence is a crucial factor when interacting with others, and making comparisons can undermine anyone’s performance in that regard. Leadership takes a particular skill-set that requires communication. Working well with others can stimulate the brain in multiple directions. Comparing ideas and comparing people are two very different perspectives when taking the next step forward.

What Is A Leadership Role?

Leaders exist in a variety of roles. Being the leader of a family, for instance, may have different duties than leading a company, but the expectations are relatively the same. A leader guides one or more people through an obstacle safely and efficiently. One trait many successful leaders have is the ability to think independently. By trusting one’s gut, a leader can follow through despite what anyone else has previously accomplished. Blazing one’s own trail is a way of learning new techniques while getting the job done. This cannot happen if a leader compares themself to others.

The False Comparison Trap

How others present themselves to the outside world may not be the same as what’s happening behind closed doors. Many people have social media accounts where they can scroll through pages of photos from friends and colleagues. These photos typically consist of birthdays, holidays, exotic vacations, or beautiful houses. It can be easy to compare one’s life to what is presented on the screen, even if it’s inaccurate. This can also occur when somebody of a much younger age compares their successes to somebody who has retired. No two people have precisely the same circumstance, and because of this, comparisons can misrepresent somebody’s life or lifestyle.

Leadership Takes Confidence

Making comparisons can reflect poorly on one’s self-esteem. When constantly comparing goals, lifestyles, and accomplishments, others may sense insecurity. How a leader views others can say more about them than the person they are judging.

Confidence usually stems from experience. While not every leader will have experience in the same quest they’re taking on, they most likely will have experience in handling an uncomfortable situation. By staying calm and rationally breaking a problem into manageable pieces, teamwork can solve most issues.

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