Transparent leaders just don’t exist. Much.
Think about the leaders you know. Are they telling you the good, the bad and the ugly, in addition to their successes and what to do? You know where that is happening? Where people are really engaged? In 12 step programs. People tell the truth there in order to empower each other. That’s why it’s the best chance against the beast of addiction. You trust and follow someone who has been there and triumphed. It’s that simple.
In my opinion, “inspired leadership” boils down to telling the truth. It’s my belief that we lose a lot of energy, intimacy and faith in humanity because we decide not to tell the truth, to keep lots of topics taboo. I think we could evolve as humanity if a lot more people started talking about the struggles of being human out loud and on display. Not like in reality TV, where it becomes a voyeuristic gawk-fest. I want to see earnest people taking on challenges and applying the best wisdom. Whether they succeed or fail, I’d like to know the story so I can learn from it and be inspired too. That’s the kind of TV and leaders I’d like to see.
If you are reading, it is likely that you have both struggles and solutions, even deep wisdom. You have dreams for yourself and the world and I think the way to start realizing them faster is to start TALKING. I mean talking about what’s not working, not only what’s going well. Here are the steps to leading by speaking the truth.
1) Establish your audience: a family gathering, parent group, church group, business group, a class you teach.
2) Plan to speak about what you are currently dealing with or struggling with in an honest and vulnerable way.
3) When you speak, your goal is to show your true self. Be vulnerable and move people with your courage to face your demons and to share about it.
4) Explain how you applied the wisdom that you teach/believe to your situation and how you triumphed or hope to triumph because of it.
5) Watch your audience apply it to their own lives and want to know how yours turned out. Feel the reward of community support.
6) Notice how you’ve put yourself on the hook for the issue that has been giving you trouble. Notice how you’ve put them on the hook for telling the truth too. Notice how much more intimate and exciting things just got!
All the best,
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