08 Apr The Wind and the Leader
I was mountain biking the other day along the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains when I was hit with a sustained wind gust. It came from the side and almost pushed me off my bike. At the same time the wind was testing the chinstrap of my helmet, it literally took my breath away for a few moments. As I was gasping for air, I felt pretty vulnerable. Afterwards, it got me thinking about an exercise my leadership team conducted where we openly discussed our strengths and weaknesses. Yes – weaknesses. We can use plenty of nice terms (challenges, opportunities, growth areas, etc.), but in essence, weaknesses are things that can derail the progress of a team. I feel that I have pretty good self-awareness, but as I presented my interpretation of the feedback (“gifts”) I received from my colleagues, I felt like the wind had been taken out of me because I felt completely vulnerable. The “leadership expert” facing his own hypocrisy! Here’s the thing – vulnerability when you’re alone tells you what you’re made of. Shared vulnerability with a team helps create bonds to work with a purpose to accomplish goals. Be grateful for all the uncomfortable moments, because that’s when you test your character, and how you can use it to make a difference.