Byron's Babbles

Just You Leadership

“No pretenses, no masks – just you.” ~ Randy Conley in Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practice, Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley. This is the 31st week of the year and I am on Simple Truth #31: “People Admire Your Strengths, But They Respect Your Honesty Regarding Your Vulnerability.” When we allow ourselves to be seen as less than perfect, others get to really know us beyond title or position. When others see us modeling this, they are more inclined to do the same.

“I think when you’re vulnerable, people realize that you, too, are human. And, perhaps even more importantly, they love your ownership of your personal positive and negative characteristics.”

Colleen Barrett, President Emerita of Southwest Airlines

I was actually discussing this with a group of teachers last week. We were discussing how back in the day, teacher educators would tell you to never let the students know if you didn’t have/know the answer. I hope no one is still giving this terrible advice. From experience, let me assure you that showing some vulnerability with students is valuable. Some of the greatest labs we did in my agricultural science classes were ones that didn’t work. Student would say, “What happened?” I would then say, “I have no idea, but l’ll bet we can figure it out together.” We would proceed to “figuring it out” and a series of learning moments would follow. Let me tell you, Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines was right; the students loved that show of vulnerability and it made our relationship stronger. Vulnerability is very powerful when it is authentic. Are you willing to be “just you?”

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