Leadership & vulnerability during lockdown
I’ve always tried to lead with my heart. Opt for relationships first, above all else. After all, we are all human, right? And if nothing else, we are all doing our best to make our way in this world.
For the most part, this has served me well. But more than anything it has given me lasting and meaningful relationships with those people in my circle that endure today.
There is nothing more important in life than being yourself. The messy, the feelings, the complicated and the awesome. It’s all we are. I wear my heart on my sleeve and that makes me vulnerable. Sometimes good, sometimes not. But, I’d rather live my life with authenticity and meaning, than carve myself into some kind of mould, not fit for me.
I currently have a husband working from home amidst this COVID 19 lockdown. He’s using MY office [Update: Lockdown 2021- he has his own home office now! 🙌] … which is a bit shit… but he reckons we can share. Lol, not going to happen.
I like my space and he doesn’t quite get that me being in my beautiful, calming and serene office WITH him isn’t quite the same for my mind. He’s leading a large team remotely, and works in the public sector. Not notoriously known for being a fan of remote working the public sector has had to reevaluate how they get shit done.
Thing is. He’s thriving. He’s happy and chill and takes regular breaks to make food and check in on the kids. He often makes dinner at lunch time. Maybe takes a bike ride later afternoon, and makes his own coffee! He’s holding multiple video calls each day and conducting interviews and forums online. But, is way less stressed than I’ve seen him in ages.
No surprise really. I’ve worked remotely for many years now and the idea that we can fold our lives into our work makes sense. The theory that we don’t have to be a 9-5 office worker. Desk bound in our corporate attire is nothing new to me. Balance is what it’s all about.
Get this. The way most of us work requires a filter.
A filter on who we are at our very essence, what we stand for, our values, how we live and how we strive to show up in this world. A filter on our own lives and a filter on who we really are.
Despite the values and culture that our organisation may aspire to. We all still have to tow an imaginary line that dictates our public persona. Leave a small piece of yourself at the door on your way in.
With the lockdown we are now living a much more public work and home life. Much more exposed, and much more vulnerable. I guess, because we’re all in the same boat, it’s easier for us all to strip back our layers and show our true selves? Show our vulnerabilities and show our true and unique selves.
Leadership to me is about vulnerability and authenticity. I wonder if post COVID 19 we will see more of this in our leaders? More empathy, more willingness to expose our feelings, more depth of human emotion?
Leadership is about trust and right now we are opening ourselves to showing that it’s ok to be sad, messy, afraid even.
It’s ok to be worried about being a good parent, a good partner, paying the bills….getting sick… it’s ok to feel down or up, to feel confused or overwhelmed. We are showing those around us it’s ok to be human. To be real. And in turn they are showing up as their true selves.
If nothing else, this unveiling of humanity is in fact a beautiful thing.We don’t have to hang our hat on the door on our way in. We get to show our flaws and our beauty. We have no other choice. But we feel safer, because everyone else is in the same boat.
My hope is that this prevails. That we allow ourselves to continue to be vulnerable. We encourage each other to keep talking and checking in on one another. We keep kindness in our hearts. We show up to the world as our true and authentic selves and we don’t feel the need for filters. We offer the world our truest form in all its scrappy and perfectly imperfect goodness.
The world needs you. 💛