Neither had I, until the Live 2 Lead conference last week. John Maxwell explained the difference between healthy and unhealthy hypocrisy.
Healthy hypocrisy is a condition in which you have a standard, value or belief that is higher than your actual performance, but you are aware, learning and growing in the direction of its fulfillment. Your awareness of your shortcomings is driving you forward, to learn from others farther along, and to seek resources and others who will be honest with you and help you forward in your journey.
Contrast this attitude to that of someone with unhealthy hypocrisy, who is aware of their shortcomings, but doesn't care, believes change is not possible or worth the effort, and is content to stay just where they are, never learning, growing or seeking betterment.
We all fail, it is a universal reality. But when we fail, are we failing forward, owning the failure and allowing it to cause review, learning and growth forward, or do we retreat into excuses, blame, distancing ourselves from others, trying to cover our mistakes, and apathy?
If you are in a leadership role, it makes a great deal of difference in the way you handle failure on your team, if you can distinguish the attitude of one who has come up short in a task and whether or not they have the attitude of healthy or unhealthy hypocrisy. The one you can help greatly, the other, not so much!
I often find myself in the role of a healthy hypocrite, seeing my shortcomings and very much wanting to grow and be better! So for all you who join me there, let's grow together!