This is from the June 2012 newsletter of the C&MA Central District, written by Dan Scarrow:

A story is told of a drunken husband who, not wanting to be found out by his wife, snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife. When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. “You were drunk last night weren’t you!” she said. Surprised, he stammered, “N…N…No, honey.” “Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the Band-Aids on the bathroom mirror?”

Fooling ourselves about our true condition is not a problem faced only by those who drink too liberally. You and I, cold sober, face the same challenge. I don’t want to speak for you so let me just admit that I constantly fool myself into thinking that I am a more effective version of myself than reality would support. One of the toughest disciplines for those who lead is to constantly seek a perspective other than our own on the effectiveness of our leadership. There are a thousand reasons for not seeking evaluation but at the core of all of them lies the ugly reality of pride. How do I know? Well, because I’ve got the same disease you have – I understand the struggle! The sad reality for leaders who don’t actively pursue regular evaluation is that they are typically the only one in the room unaware of their true condition. If you happen to be one of the many leaders afraid of true and regular evaluation I’ve got bad news for you… there are Band-Aids on your bathroom mirror!