Monday Morning Leadership – Vulnerability

The most effective leaders lead from a position of bold-vulnerableness.

— JMeyer —

In his book, “Breathing Under Water,” Randy Rohr writes; “Deep communion and dear compassion is formed much more by shared pain than pleasure.”

Rohr’s book is a Christian perspective on the 12 Steps, which were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Whenever I attend a 12 Step meeting, I always feel a spirit of deep communion and dear compassion because all of us in attendance share pain through a common denominator–our addiction.

12 Step programs have been very successful because of this key connective spirit among its members.

Several years ago, when I was President of HealthCare Pharmacy, I tried my best to meet with all of our employees once a month, for an hour.  We accomplished this by having six, one hour meetings over a twenty-four hour period.

The meetings began at 7:00 AM and ran until 4:00 AM the following morning.  Most months I was able to meet with the majority of our 200+ teammates.

During the first thirty minutes of each meeting, I reminded the teammates about our commitment to the customers and to each other.  We would review our Vision, Mission, and Values, and talk about how well we were living them. I would also update them on how the business was doing.

During the second half of the meetings, I taught personal leadership. I’ve always believed that everyone should try to lead their lives to the best of their abilities.  I also believed our organization would grow more effectively if our teammates were growing too.

In one of the first meetings I held with the teammates, I was talking with them about how we become the decisions we make in our life.  If we make good decisions we will lead a good life.  If we make bad decisions, we will most likely lead a bad life.  It’s pretty simple.

Then I went on to  share how my life had become mentally, physically, and spiritually bankrupted at the age of twenty-eight because of some very poor decisions I had made.  I went on to share my addiction struggles with them.

It was in that meeting where I felt a connectedness with the teammates like never before, and I would wager to say it has never gone away.

We all have struggles and pains in our life. When the leader is willing to be vulnerable and share personal challenges with those he or she is leading, a deep connection to “humanness” is made.  Or as Randy Rohr says, “Deep communion and dear compassion is formed much more by shared pain than pleasure.”

People are turned off and disconnected from leaders who lead with pride, ego, and arrogance.

People connect with leaders who share their flaws and are willing to be vulnerable…I write from experience.

James 5:16, Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.


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