Managers must expose their flaws to staff if they are to become great leaders.
"Revealing weakness enables leaders to build solidarity with others," said Rob Goffee, professor of organisational behaviour at the London Business School.
He believes if managers behave as if they are flawless there is no reason for staff to help as they "do not need followers".
Goffee warned managers not to show 'fatal' flaws - a finance director who reveals a major problem reading balance sheets, for example - but ones that would be considered strengths.
HR managers keen to join the board should dare to be different. "Inspirational leaders use their differences to great advantage," he said.