Achieving success as a leader is difficult enough to accomplish. So why would we jeopardize it once we achieve it?
As Inc.com reports, researchers from Harvard University say we unwittingly undermine our success as leaders in the workplace by hiding our failures.
According to the research, failing to share how we’ve failed and only talking about our accomplishments can trigger “malicious envy,” which creates dysfunctional behavior among peers or direct reports, causes employees to behave less cooperatively and disrupts a sense of teamwork.
In one study, participants read a paragraph about the successes of a leader and reported feeling a high amount of malicious envy toward that leader. Another group read a similar paragraph that also included information about the leader’s setbacks. That group reported feeling no envy.
The research also showed measured admiration for leaders doesn’t decline when their failures are disclosed. Rather, it inspires others to work harder.