“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” – Brené Brown
When we see a blog title with “I have a confession to make.” or hear someone speak these words, our ears perk up and our eyes light up. We get curious to hear what the individual will confess about.
What sparks our curiosity is the idea that a person has the courage to share something private, something that they likely did not want to ‘confess’ to. And yet, they have conjured enough strength to be completely raw and vulnerable.
I grew up as a Catholic and went to confession for many years to share my shortcomings. It wasn’t a time I enjoyed and I often felt bad leading up to it.
Now looking back at the process of confession, I believe the purpose was more than admitting my wrong doings. This practice built my courage to move through my mistakes, to grow and learn from the experience, and to be real and accepting that I’m not perfect.
I remember the first time I watched Brené Brown’s TEDTALK on The Power of Vulnerability, (also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Daring Greatly and her latest book Rising Strong) a few years ago. I did not realize until then that true human connection came from moments of vulnerability. When we open up and let ourselves be seen and known, we cultivate love.
Like many others, I was so afraid to show my true colours. I was afraid to admit that I didn’t have all the answers. I was afraid to be seen as weak and imperfect.
So what’s my confession?
I have a dark side. I stand up in front of hundreds of people during conferences and workshops and talk about leadership and yet, I struggle being a Leader every day.
More specifically, I turn it on because of the pressures of my work and the responsibility to be seen as a strong and confident Leader. Behind closed doors and with my loved ones, I’m often insecure, fearful and experience lack of confidence. I let my emotions take over me and feel out of control.
When you’re a Leader of a team, organization or community, we have a duty and obligation to show up as strong Leaders. We must lead by example.
As a Leader, we automatically take on the responsibility of leading others. What we often take for granted is that if you’re a Leader, you’re under a microscope. Every action, every response, every wrong turn, and every word is amplified to the nth degree.
And while that it is a Leader’s onus to take full ownership of his/her role, the truth is we are all human. We have bad days. We are not always strong or have the courage to speak our truth. We experience self-doubt and lack confidence, and we actually don’t have all the answers.
What I’ve come to realize as I grow stronger as a Leader, is that being a Leader is about becoming a better human being.
To be more human comes from the ability of an individual to accept and then shift from their dark side and use this energy to fuel their desire to be a better version of themselves.
Leadership starts with leading self first.
Being a Leader is a lifelong journey and there’s not a one size fits all development plan. We are all different with a unique set of core values, life purpose, strengths, and passions. Therefore, in order to be a stronger Leader, we must continuously learn to understand ourselves and apply and integrate the learning daily.
How can you become a stronger Leader and human being?
Try one or more of these 4 simple tools.
TOOL #1: Create your Leadership Profile. Discover and define your core values, life purpose, strengths, communication style, passions, and limiting beliefs and get grounded in who you are. Download a copy of our Leadership Profile Card here.
TOOL #2: Take an assessment that can provide you with a fresh perspective to compliment your Leadership Profile. Not sure which one? Try Emergenetics with us. The assessment identifies your thinking preferences, your strengths (what makes you brilliant), and your behaviours and actions (how you show up). For a special discount, use the code: SPARK
TOOL #3: The most important skill today’s Leaders need to know is to make time for self-reflection. Learn from your past and current experiences and apply the learning into your day to day. Start by reflecting on 2015 here.
TOOL #4: Gather authentic feedback from your close family and friends using the Circle Reflection Card and add their thoughts and comments to your Leadership Profile. Connect with 3 to 5 individuals in person that support your personal and professional growth. Use one form for each person. Download a copy of our Circle Reflection Card here.
What can you do today to be a better human being?
I would love to hear how your experience went. Share in the comments below and connect with me today!
To learn more tips on how to become a stronger Leader of self, join me at the 54th Annual BC Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) Conference and Tradeshow on April 26 and 27, 2016. I will be facilitating a workshop on “The Power of Mindfulness in the Workplace” on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.