The Pursuit of Dignity
Once, I was visiting a care facility where I’m a chaplain. I noticed
people acting awkward around me, but assumed they were just having a rough day, etc.
I continued my rounds and tried to encourage where I could. When I got home, I found that the entire seam of my pants had ripped right down the middle in the back.
I think their awkwardness had more to do with my mooning them than any other issue/problem.
Over the years, I've had many opportunities to experience humility. And, I've come to see that my being humbled isn't just good for me--it's sometimes good for those I serve.
What I mean is that sometimes, relationship connection and thus leadership INFLUENCE comes from transparency and imperfection. We THINK people will respect us more if we appear flawless--having our "stuff together." In reality, (and this is especially true of Millennials), our flaws are what endears them to and trust us.
Now there are a couple of caveats to this. First, you have to show that you aren't condoning your weakness, just admitting it. Also, you need to show that you love them, not your strengths or weaknesses. Finally, and most importantly, you must show that you love them.
In my book, "Communicate to Lead," I define leadership as "Influence resulting in positive, lasting change." I believe that transparency and openness about our flaws can produce powerful influence and results.
To that end,