There is a Jesuit church in Rome which ran out of building money before they could finish the cathedral dome. Andrea Pozzo said, “No problem, I’ll paint you a dome on the ceiling.” Between 1685 and 1694 he created one of the finest examples of large scale perspective art ever produced. From one end of the church floor the illusion is nearly perfect:
From the opposite perspective the illusion is destroyed.
He also created the illusion of a high vaulted ceiling where none actually exists:
To an extent, humans love clever artistry and being fooled (witness the popularity of magic). There is a fine line between this happiness and the anger that seethes when we discover we have been fooled.
Within leadership, smart leaders are cautious about anything, which includes deliberate attempts to fool a customer, colleague, or partner. The blow-back is fierce. The benefits of high-trust relationships outweigh short-term gains through deliberate illusion. Don’t show your team or your customers a Potemkin village.
This works the opposite direction, as well. Smart leaders trust, but verify the work/services of others. Someone may be trying to fool you. Get multiple perspectives.