I’ve been studying the concept of “transparency” with a group of students over the past number of weeks, and I’ve been challenged to examine this area of my own life, instead of telling others how to live this way.
Patrick Lencioni writes in his book, “Getting Naked” about the fear we have as leaders in getting vulnerable or “real” with those that work with us. He talks at length about the value of being yourself and being genuine instead of trying to create this persona that knows everything.
I’m often challenged when I look at my high school daughters homework, and she asks me for help. I have to make a quick decision: If I try to “fake it” by acting like I have a clue as to what she’s working on, I run the risk of really messing her up and causing her to do bad on that assignment. The better option is to simply say to her, “I have no idea how to do that, but let’s figure it out together”. That is a sign of vulnerability, especially for a man, a dad, and a know-it-all like myself!
Here are some questions to think about when you address areas of personal vulnerability:
*Are you willing to admit that you DON’T have all the answers? If you aren’t, why not? What are you afraid of?
*Do you have people in your life that you feel comfortable with enough that you can be your “real self”? If not, why not?
*Do you believe that good leaders know everything and must never be wrong? Where did that belief come from? Do you know leaders in your life who are genuine? Who are vulnerable? Who are transparent?
Today I simply want to encourage you to “let your wall down“. This doesn’t mean that you open up to anyone and everyone. This doesn’t mean that you wear you always wear your emotions on your sleeve for all to see. This doesn’t mean that you tell everyone what you don’t know. You need to use some common sense, but this does mean that you need to find some people in your life that you can be vulnerable and real with. This does mean that you need to learn to say the words, “I don’t know, but I will find out”. This does mean that you need to stop judging people that are more open and honest than yourself.
Let your wall down a little bit today.
You’ll realize that most people are full of grace, and many people are inspired by leaders that are real instead of those that just act like they’re real.
Here are a couple of tip sheets that might help you: