The power of being vulnerable
Leaders want to feel worthy of their position. After all, they are the leaders because they are the best, right? Just in case, and to make sure others know they are the best, they start playing the part.
Everything they say or do says to others: "I am the leader. I am perfect. You on the other hand, are in need of improvement."
Followers know this isn't true. No one is perfect. But they want the recognition and the rewards, so they play along. "You are perfect. We are blessed to be in your presence."
Soon, "I am perfect" turns into "I am above the rules", and "you are perfect" turns into "you have all the answers and we have none."
It's a hop, skip and jump from there to disaster.
Contrast this with the farewell memo Dara Khosrowshahi sent to the staff at Expedia where he was CEO for 12 years. Talking about his new role as CEO of Uber, he says: "I have to tell you I am scared."
Now, instead of followers who cling on to him to be dragged forward, he's going to be welcomed by supporters who are working to push him, and the rest of the company, to success.