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Why Vulnerability is a Gift [Podcast]

Episode 84: In this episode, Michael and Kathryn talk about the concept of vulnerability and why it's actually a gift for business leaders. If you need some encouragement when it comes to opening up to others and want to understand how being vulnerable will help you, your company, and your team, then give this episode a listen.

2 business women talking


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover why expressing your weaknesses and struggles can actually progress your relationships.
  • Find out the places at work or in life where you potentially aren't being vulnerable enough.
  • Learn how to wisely admit your mistakes in a way that will empower your staff.
“The vulnerability you bring is actually a gift. Because that vulnerability, the willingness to let your guard down and not appear strong all the time, allows the person in front of you to also be real and allows them to take their mask down."
– Kathryn redman

Take the Leadership Blindspot Quiz

 

References:

Brene Brown's TED talk

Speed of Trust (by Stephen M.R. Covey)

 

 

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Michael:
              Hi everyone. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is the HaBO Village Podcast. Thank you very much for coming today. This is a podcast dedicated to business leaders who want to build more profit, purpose and legacy into their companies. We have a company that we live our lives like that and we want to talk to you and share ideas, thoughts, strategies.


Kathryn:
               Strategies.


Michael:
              And interviews with people who are doing it.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And we call it Passion and Provision. That's our pet term for profit, purpose and legacy, right? We call it Passion and Provision.


Michael:
              Yeah, absolutely. And we would love it if you would hit subscribe in Apple Podcast because that's really helpful in making sure that we can get this idea out even more. And today we're going to talk about...


Kathryn:
               Vulnerability.


Michael:
              Vulnerability.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And the value and the benefit of vulnerability in business.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And you and I have been talking about this a fair amount. I mean this is one of the themes in our life. We'd been talking about it lately and you were just saying, I think this would be a great topic that we put on the podcast. Talk about it. Why do you think it's so important? What do you think the value is for it?


Kathryn:
               So I think...


Michael:
              And what is it?


Kathryn:
               Well, and I'm going to give a little bit of context first.


Michael:
              Perfect.


Kathryn:
               So Michael and I go to a lot of conferences, right? We value learning, we value being under the tutelage of people who are doing good things. And it's really part of how we stay up, especially in the marketing side with the latest trends and what's happening. Because that's our job is to stay ahead of our clients. So we go to a ton of conferences. But the reality is that conferences are a really weird animal for me. I am kind of an extrovert, but kind of an introvert. And in those environments it can be really awkward. And one of the reasons it's awkward, and I was just really processing this over the last couple of places we've been, is that when you go to a conference, people, especially because most of them are running a business or own a business or something like that, because of the places we frequent, they have a mask on. We kind of go with our best version of ourself, which is not a bad thing necessarily, but...


Michael:
              Are you going to talk about that one quote?


Kathryn:
               The stage?


Michael:
              Our representative.


Kathryn:
               Oh yeah. One guy talked about it and said basically we bring our representative and he, I think he was talking about a joke that he'd heard Kevin Hart make about the fact that when you take a girl out on her first date, you're not really taking her out. You're taking her representative out, right? So that's the protector.


Michael:
              I love that. I loved that quote.


Kathryn:
               I loved that. It's a great image.


Michael:
              And he used it as in the sense of business when we're going on stage as a speaker or we're at a business event, we're coming to those initial conversations and relationships with our representative.


Kathryn:
               Yes. So, it's the best version of ourselves with all of the things we talk about. I don't know. Polished up and yeah, we're doing awesome. And yeah, I've got this and I've got this and I've got this and I've done this and I've done that and I've got this trophy and this award and everybody's just like pumping themselves up.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And I will be honest, when I am faced with that, what I end up doing is backing way down like, okay, yep, you are brilliant. You're better than I am. You're an awesome human, well done you, but I don't know how to engage them. Part of that is that one of my core values is authenticity and vulnerability, right?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               I want to have an honest conversation.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               I want to be able to celebrate the good stuff. I think that's really important. I want to hear about the successes, but I also want to be like, is there anything challenging in your life or is it just all coming up roses all the time. It's just unicorns and rainbows and sunshine and pretty flowers and that's sometimes how it feels. And so to be in context, that happened. And then I ended up in a conversation a couple of days ago with someone very dear to me and he said he was struggling with wanting to be in a relationship with a friend who would be honest and push him to be better than he is.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Push him in his relationships, push him in his marriage, push him in kind of all of those places that make you sort of come to terms with where you're not progressing, right? So someone who loves you but they're going to be honest with you and that requires a certain vulnerability. And he said to me, the reason that I'm struggling is because I feel like I'm the needy one and I don't have anything to bring to the conversation.


Michael:
              What do you think he meant by that?


Kathryn:
               I think he felt like in order for that sort of a relationship to have any benefit that was mutual, he had to be able to give at all times as much as he was asking to receive.


Michael:
              Okay.


Kathryn:
               Okay.


Michael:
              It is a tricky thing in any relationship to feel like you need.


Kathryn:
               It is super tricky.


Michael:
              And sometimes, well depending on who we are, where we are with this, we hit this place of I'm going to be a little vulnerable. I need a little, and it feels like a lot. And then there are some people who are really needy who don't feel bad about that at all, and they suck the life out of everybody. And what a lot of people do in business, they don't want to appear needy. They don't want to be perceived as needy because that's annoying.


Kathryn:
               Right. And I think it's not easy for any of us. It's not easy for females either, but especially for men, vulnerability, neediness, weakness, those things all equate in the mind, right? If I am vulnerable, if I tell you the truth about what's actually happening and how I feel, then I will be perceived as weak. You will think less of me, all of those kinds of things.


Kathryn:
               So I'm in the middle of this conversation with him and he says this to me and I found myself saying, and I didn't pre-process it, I didn't pre-think it. What I found myself saying, "Friend, I really believe that if you're willing to kind of enter into that sort of space, and it was with somebody safe, like he already knew the person he would want to do that with. And so it's not like this is a risky human really.


Michael:
              Okay, all right.


Kathryn:
               For him. So if you're willing to enter into that space and be okay with being needy, I think what you bring, the vulnerability...


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Is actually a gift.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Because that vulnerability, that willingness to let your guard down, that willingness to not appear strong all the time or feel like you've got it together all the time or whatever, I think then allows the person in front of you...


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               To also be real.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And allow the mask to come down, take away their representative, right?


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               And just be who you are. And then in those places, we really have the opportunity to speak into each other's lives and help each other grow.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               So that's kind of the background for me of why do I think, and okay. I'd be remiss if I didn't say I'm a big Brene Brown fan, right. So 2010 Ted Talk that changed the world on terms of understanding shame and vulnerability and the power of vulnerability to really deepen relationships and really grow companies.


Michael:
              Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Kathryn:
               So that's kind of the backdrop of all of it for me is I feel like we rob each other on a regular basis when we only bring our representative. And for me, that breaks my heart for leaders.


Michael:
              Why?


Kathryn:
               Because I think that they don't get to be their best selves. And I think that if you can't own and be honest with where you're struggling, then you're not going to get the help that you need. And nobody gets to clarity alone. So in order to grow as a leader, in order to actually go after the things that would help you move forward in your life.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               It requires vulnerability. So not only are you robbing the person across the table from you, but you're robbing yourself.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               Of the ability to actually get insight and help and all of that.


Michael:
              Right, right. So, and obviously I agree with you. I mean, I think vulnerability is real important. There are tricks to vulnerability and when you are unfamiliar with learning how to be vulnerable and trying to figure out how to be vulnerable, I don't know about being a woman, but I know about being a man.


Kathryn:
               That's very good news to me. I don't want you to know about being a woman. Just saying out loud.


Michael:
              Being a man and you say, okay, I'm going to be vulnerable. And you risk with a man that you thought you knew and they were like, what the hell are you doing?


Kathryn:
               Put it back in the box Redman.


Michael:
              Yeah, I mean, I'm like, oh, you're getting a little mushy or you're getting a little. I mean I personally have had that experience. You're trying to like, you're a little desperate for relationship or you're a little desperate in a place because you're just raw, you're exhausted. The life around you is sucking you dry and you're just trying to, you feel a little like, oh my gosh, life is overwhelming and you want to reach out and you want a hand. And sometimes, especially if you are somebody who has not done this, you probably created a community of people around you...


Kathryn:
               Who don't do it.


Michael:
              Who you've gravitated that don't do it. So when you say, I want to do that, they're like, oh, you're being a little touchy feely now and blah blah blah.


Kathryn:
               I thought we were just going to talk football.


Michael:
              And then they make all kinds of jokes or whatever.


Kathryn:
               Or hunting.


Michael:
              And you're like, okay, you don't get it.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Those of us that are much more willing to talk about emotions, they're willing to listen. I can listen to another man talk about things that are uncomfortable and hard for them and their weaknesses and vulnerabilities and fears without it making me squirm.


Kathryn:
               Well, and let's face it, you have this bizarre attraction for guys who probably don't have very many safe places, who literally will meet you for five minutes and suddenly be sort of dumping their life.


Michael:
              Well, yeah, I mean, I have that. We joke about it. I mean, we laugh about it a lot, but it's really the, if you haven't heard this before on podcasts, one of the jokes that we have is people say to me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don't know why I'm telling you this.


Kathryn:
               I don't know why I'm telling you this. I've never told anyone that. You're like, yeah, yeah, yeah. You and everyone else, it's all good.


Michael:
              I could tell you why you're telling me this, but it really doesn't matter.


Kathryn:
               It wouldn't help.


Michael:
              It's okay. This is a safe place. And more often than not, people just need to talk. They don't even need a solution. And which is what a lot of men don't understand is they think you're telling them because that is a clandestine request for you to help fix it.


Kathryn:
               And sometimes we just need to be heard. There's so much power in just someone listening.


Michael:
              So if somebody wants to listen, let's a couple of different things here. One, I think we need to connect this to business.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And running a small business or running your company.


Kathryn:
               Or a big business.


Michael:
              Yeah. So running your company. And then the other thing we need to do is a couple of points on how do you do it. If it's not something you're really good at, not something you're good at at all. What does it look like? So the first thing probably there's a couple of hints. One learning to ask people if they'd like to talk about it. When somebody is sharing something, one of the things that's great is not to assume that you need to solve it. And in some environments, in some relationships or communities, if you don't start answering and solving it, it's assumed. If I start sharing with you something and you just go, hmm.


Michael:
              Some communities go, well that's, why didn't you say anything else, that's dumb. And then they're mad at you because you didn't solve it. So you need to ask a question. Is it, first question is when somebody is sharing something personal is that's hard. It sounds challenging. Somehow go, okay I acknowledge that it's hard. If there's a way of saying I understand and I can appreciate that at some level. And then say what would be helpful?


Kathryn:
               Yeah, is there anything I could do to help?


Michael:
              I mean I was just trying to think of a couple of different ways I respond but is there anything, I mean what would be helpful right now? Because sometimes, and you could even say sometimes what would be helpful beyond me just listening. Do you need anything from me?


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Because a lot of times people will go, no, I think I just needed to talk it out with somebody. I needed to say it out loud with somebody who didn't think I was crazy or wasn't going to try and run around and solve it or something like that.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And then it's always a great opportunity to move into coaching. So what do you think that means?


Kathryn:
               What do you think is actually happening here?


Michael:
              What do you think is actually happening here? What do you think would be the best thing? There's two ways to ask that question. I'm going to do both.


Kathryn:
               Do it.


Michael:
              What do you think that should be? What do you think the answer to that is? And the other one is basically changing the tone and just going, hmm, what do you think the answer is? You've got to ask in the sense of really wanting to know the answer as opposed to, well what do you think the answer is? There's a tone thing in the midst of it too.


Kathryn:
               That sounded real condescending.


Michael:
              And it can, and that's the danger of it. It's just asking the question. Okay, I've got my little notebook here, they're talking to me. What do you think the answer is?


Kathryn:
               What do you think the answer is?


Michael:
              Listening, because I just, I sat and listened to a guy this morning. And I talked to him, but I listened to a bunch of things that he had to say. And at one point he's like, I don't know what I'm saying, this sounds goofy. And I'm like, no, it doesn't.


Kathryn:
               It doesn't.


Michael:
              I get it. So this idea of just some tips right off the bat, how do you even answer this? How do you talk to people and just listen to them and see if they need a solution. If they need something like, well this is what I need. Then you can evaluate whether you can do it or not.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Right. But most of the time, that vulnerability, that's the gift they get. And that's the gift they bring as you're talking. And it's amazing how many people appreciate the fact it's like, it was an honor to listen. It was an honor to hear.


Kathryn:
               Yeah and just even the phrase thank you for trusting me with that.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Is super powerful because it is that sense of, yeah, you just gave me a piece of yourself in that. And by the way, it's safe, right? You can trust me with that.


Michael:
              I mean, the goal is that if you're not looking for things to exploit or everything else. But when we let the guard down and "put the representative away" in any kind of business relationship and learn how to do that, not in an inappropriate way. We talked about trust and safety on this and we talk about the example of the circumference fences with the gates and being a good gatekeeper. You've got to be careful how fast you let people in and making sure that they're trustworthy and all that kind of stuff.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              But when you relatively have that kind of trust, you don't have to put up all the pretending that, you don't have to bring out your resume of everything that's awesome about you. Care about somebody else, care about what's good about them, what they care about, what they're their favorite big initiative is right now, what they're most excited about in their life. Those kinds of things. And get people to just kind of go, wow, it's really nice. It's amazing. And I've heard this said before, but it's true because I've experienced it and you've experienced it and it's this phenomenon. You say hi to somebody, you meet them, you talk with them, and they talk 90% of the time.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              And then they say, this was such a great talk. It was, man. And then they walk away going...


Kathryn:
               I feel so much better.


Michael:
              I feel so much better. But they also say, well, you're such a neat person. You're so interesting.


Kathryn:
               Right. And they never learned anything about you. They didn't even ask one question.


Michael:
              I really like you, you're wow and you are amazing to them and they don't even, we don't even process that as human beings sometimes. We're just like, wow, I feel good around you and I like you. And so you're a neat person. That's a really great person.


Kathryn:
               Well, and all that tells you is how rare it is to find people who are willing to listen.


Michael:
              Okay. So let's talk about this. Why is this vulnerability helpful in running a Passion and Provision company? What are the reasons?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So I think one of the realities about vulnerability for me is that part of vulnerability is being willing to own where you don't have it all together. So I think about it in several areas. First of all, what happens when something goes wrong with your staff? What happens when there's a mistake? What happens when you do something that, or you didn't communicate well enough or whatever else. If you can't let your guard down, and if you have to be seen as the person who has it all together...


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               Then it's probably going to be really hard for you to ever issue the words "Wow, I'm sorry, I really blew it."


Michael:
              Now how is that being vulnerable?


Kathryn:
               Because you're owning that you actually make mistakes.


Michael:
              So part of vulnerability is the ability to admit that you're not perfect.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely. And if I don't say, I'm sorry, I made a mistake, or wow, I may think that you goofed that up, but it was my communication that allowed for that to happen. So to be able to own it then that also models for the rest of your team that it's safe to make a mistake.


Michael:
              Yes. And why is that? And that's important in culture as we talk about the six areas of the Passion and Provision strategy.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              One of the key elements of culture is creating a place where it's okay, it's safe for other people to make mistakes.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              So this is where vulnerability actually accelerates your efficiency and productivity and innovation within your company. Because there are people going right now, some people are going, oh yeah, I get this and this makes sense. There are some people listening right now that are going, this has nothing to do with business. You cannot drive, you cannot look at metrics and attach vulnerability to positive metrics in a business.


Kathryn:
               Ah, we dare to lead.


Michael:
              Oh.


Kathryn:
               Oh we dare to lead, get over it.


Michael:
              Au contraire.


Kathryn:
               Au contraire.


Michael:
              But because you can, because part of vulnerability as we're talking about right there is there are so many statistics and so much analytics and so much data that points to vulnerability as being a huge part of that team building.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              Like from the Navy Seals and their ability to have vulnerability, which humility, proper humility is part of vulnerability. Being able to admit you need help is perfect and part of being on a team that you don't have to do it all yourself. That's a part of vulnerability. And being willing to say, I blew that, I made that mistake and admit it and then make it right is important as part of vulnerability.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               So it's important working with our staff to model that because if you can model it as leaders, then they have the freedom to know that they can also make mistakes and they can be safe to say, I messed that up.


Michael:
              Yep.


Kathryn:
               And they don't have to work in a kind of a fear place all the time, right?


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               So that's one piece.


Michael:
              It's important about mistakes at work. Acknowledging that. Team building...


Kathryn:
               Yeah, team building.


Michael:
              Is one.


Kathryn:
               And I'm going to expand on the mistake thing. How many of you have ever made a mistake with a client?


Michael:
              Hmm. Yeah.


Kathryn:
               So what happens when things go really wrong with a client?


Michael:
              Yeah. Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Right. Well, again, there are organizations out there that do not own when they failed.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               They blame the customer.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               Right. They just basically, I'm like, well I'm sorry but you just misunderstood and you just had wrong expectations and you just blah blah blah blah. It's not my fault, right?


Michael:
              That's a lot of ugh. Okay.


Kathryn:
               Okay. So again, what happens in the trust relationship between you and your customer when you are willing to say, I messed that up and I am going to make it, right.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Right. So it could be a little thing like, you know what, I printed that and it had the wrong information on it and you know what, I'm going to redo it. And of course I'm not going to charge you. That's ridiculous. In fact, I might not even charge you for the first time for the pain that I just caused. Whatever it is.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               The willingness to say and to own when things aren't going well is just a super powerful building trust with your clients.


Michael:
              Well and we talk a lot about trust and the myth that trust is not easily regained. Now you sometimes you have to work at it. Depending on how bad you lost trust, but trust can actually be regained faster as we talked about. We have talked about The Speed of Trust is a phenomenal book by Stephen M.R. Covey. We when we're talking about this, there is again, a tremendous amount of data and everything else that says if you can learn to manage trust, build and grow trust, but when it's broken and at times it just, things happen.


Kathryn:
               Nobody's perfect.


Michael:
              Mistakes happen. No. So it's going to happen. How do you recover from that? And like you were just saying, saying I was wrong. I blew this, I made a mistake, I'm going to fix it. Now there is somebody we know that is, would never say that they're perfect.


Kathryn:
               No, but they would also never say that they're sorry.


Michael:
              A leader, but they almost never have like, I can't even remember a time they've said they were sorry. Even though they make some pretty grandiose mistakes in leadership and around them. And yet the challenge they have is they believe that the goal is, well, I'm just going to fix it. So if they made that mistake with the client, they would fix it, say they fixed it, but they would never say they were sorry.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Because in their mind, fixing it is admitting what you did was wrong and that's enough. I don't need to tell you out loud what I did was wrong, and I'm sorry. Almost to the point of which it's almost as if they believe at a core level, the words I'm sorry, are useless. It's almost like there's an extreme there that says words are empty, actions mean something. And it's true that actions are very important in regaining trust.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, if you say I'm sorry, but then you don't fix it, then that's stupid and hopeless.


Michael:
              But there is a certain amount of emotional and trust and going, oh, well you're never going to admit you're wrong.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              You're just going to fix it. And then there's never a way for us, then there's never a place for us to discuss how do we solve problems in the future.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. How do we avoid this moving forward?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, totally.


Michael:
              And so those are important critical aspects of building trust. Again, vulnerability. What about outside of admitting your mistakes? Talk to me about vulnerability outside of making mistakes.


Kathryn:
               I think that, so sometimes it isn't about admitting mistakes. Sometimes it's about, you know what, this particular leg of our journey is very difficult for X, Y, and Z reasons.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And if I can articulate and say out loud, yeah, this has not been an easy journey.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And I think it's real powerful when you're actually in the middle of it because most of us don't mind saying something like that once we've solved it and come out grandiosely brilliant. Right? Then it's like, yeah, it was really, really hard. But in the middle of it, it's really hard sometimes for people to say those things. Well, what I believe ends up happening is that there are a bunch of other folks that are walking in that exact same place with you where it's really, really hard, but they're scared to say that out loud.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And if you say it out loud, you give them the gift of going, oh yeah, me too. Yeah. Like, yeah, this is really hard. So we talk about the idea that leadership is lonely.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Part of it is that leaders, they don't want to say it's hard because people are counting on me to be strong. People are counting on me and that's all true. But you have to find places both for your own sanity as well as for just the good of the community to own what's true, right. And again, not because that other person in front of you can solve it, but because you can in some ways, I don't know, share the weight of it like yeah, it's a really heavy.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Let's just own that and be like crap together because it feels better to know that you're not the only person in the room that's struggling.


Michael:
              Well, and again, you go back to that idea of building a team and community and culture. If you can't say that this is hard, if you're always pretending that it's always a great day, the team doesn't feel as safe or as close to you, no matter who they are on the team, and that's critical. That's important. Vulnerabilities. This whole idea of vulnerability is important too. It's willing to say, I want help. Even when it's like it's not a failure. I didn't make a mistake. Look, I don't have all the answers, I need help.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              It makes me think of coaching because obviously we do a lot of leadership coaching. And when we're dealing with coaching, either we're doing a group coaching, which is really, I love the fact when it was coined by Terry, that facilitation is really the sister to coaching because it's group coaching, right?


Michael:
              So you'll have a leadership, we'll have a leadership team in the room and we're coaching the small group of people through facilitation and some mentoring teaching. But then you get into the one on one and great leaders, the more I read, great leaders had coaches. And they're not always called coaches, but throughout history you'll see things like these great leaders had great advisors. This leader had somebody in their life that was an advisor, a confidant or whatever that asked them good questions that thought about it. You go back to Moses, he had his father in law in the Old Testament. And he led a million plus people out of Egypt. You go back to any of the great military leaders. They had somebody who was wise, coached them, who would ask questions, good questions, who would challenge them.


Kathryn:
               Sometimes it was their spouse.


Michael:
              Sometimes it was their spouse.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Depending on the community or the society.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And even, there's a great book called the coach that just came out in the last year or so. I believe that's the name of it. And it is about the guy who, he was the CEO of Intuit for quite some time and Quicken Books and all of that kind of stuff. And he then had left that and he was a coach to folks in Silicon Valley. He coached Steve Jobs. He was like in the peak of Steve Jobs's life. He was this coach to Steve Jobs. He was a coach to the two guys that started Google. He was a coach. I mean...


Kathryn:
               The guy behind the guy behind the guys.


Michael:
              The guy behind the guys, right. And I didn't know about this. And when he died, the funeral was at a Palo Alto high school in the football arena because they needed a place to put all these people and one of the guys that was writing this book, he said, it is a who's who of competitors and all of that stuff, including Bill Gates, who he also had an impact on and this guy was a literally to all these people that we say are amazing leaders, to all of these people that books had been written about to all these people who are, who are worth millions or billions, hundreds of millions or billions.


Michael:
              They had coaches. Even in the current day, they didn't just do this on their own and he was a phenomenal leadership coach to leaders. He was a phenomenal character coach to those folks and he would speak to them. I mean the stories in this book about him and Steve Jobs taking walks in Palo Alto and places like that. You see this idea that leaders, great leaders, this is the concept. Great leaders in society in history have almost always had a good coach. They've always been willing to say, and to have a good coach, you have to be vulnerable about the real state of what's going on.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              For instance, I just recently coaching a guy, phenomenal leader, and he's got stuff together. He's like an A plus player. He's doing phenomenal. And you know what he wanted to have a conversation about, which wasn't easy to have that conversation, which required vulnerability, was he said, "I think I'm on the right path. I think what I'm investing my life in, this organization, these people, this mission, I think it's worth it." But you get into this place where you're looking to the left and to the right and you see some people who are accelerating faster than you and he's like, "Yeah, I don't know sometimes, I doubt sometimes."


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Okay, there's an honest, if you're in leadership, you have doubt it moments.


Kathryn:
               Really?


Michael:
              Oh my gosh. Right?


Kathryn:
               Never, no I never ever.


Michael:
              You have doubts. Even when you're on the right path, you're like, am I doing the right thing? Because there's risk and you're pushing the envelope at times and sometimes there's no playbook. There's no instructions you can get to say is this the right thing for this situation in this environment? You're just doing it and you're trying to lean on wisdom and everything else, but so this guy was vulnerable. But what was amazing is when I came out of that coaching session, because he was the real deal, and because he was working on hard things that weren't weaknesses, they weren't mistakes.


Michael:
              They were just like, this is what I'm tempted by. This is what I struggle a little bit with. In those moments, in that 10% or 20% of my time, this is what creeps up. 80, 90% of the time, I know I'm in the right path. But how do I adjust this so I can and one of his question was, "How do I deal with these options in these situations that are fluid and changing in a way that is better for me emotionally and healthy and in a healthy way?" How do I look through that? And we're coaching through that right now and that's that gift. I walk away from that coaching sessions stoked.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              I'm encouraged, I'm motivated because he was willing to be real and honest.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And I'm like, this is the real deal.


Kathryn:
               And again that's the gift of vulnerability. He's willing to be vulnerable with you. It actually strengthens you. It's an interesting dynamic because again, vulnerability gives me permission to be real. And then the other thing that happens is I really believe that one of the core desires of human beings is to be known.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And the fear...


Michael:
              I agree with you.


Kathryn:
               Thank you. The fear is that I will be, like if somebody really knows me, then they won't think I'm great actually right?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And so vulnerability is that risk because essentially it's if I show you the real me, will you still like me or will you still love me?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And depending on how you grew up and kind of your relationship with shame and rejection and some of those things that can get very, very dicey.


Michael:
              Yeah. Well and in business the challenge is at some level knowing where that boundary is, especially if you haven't experimented with the boundary because you're going to fail at times and you're going to put yourself out a little bit too far and it's going to get awkward. It's just, it does sometimes.


Kathryn:
               You're like uh, that was too far. Too much, too much.


Michael:
              That person couldn't handle it.


Kathryn:
               Pull back, pull back.


Michael:
              Because you've got to be wise at choosing who you're going to be vulnerable with. But there is a sense in business where the leverage, the power of vulnerability can bring stuff. But at the same time, the tension on the opposite side of where you might fail is people are going to doubt your competence and it can happen. And sometimes it does happen where people go, oh, and you start admitting your weak. And what they hear is this extreme exaggeration, but they're like, oh well maybe. And what we're worried about more than anything else is they're going to think, well then I can't trust you. Well, I'm not going to bring business to you. Well maybe you're not a good bet.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Well, maybe you aren't. Because people bet not only on the business model, but on the jockey. Right? How confident are you that you could accomplish this.


Kathryn:
               Well, I'm not exactly thinking I go to my biggest client and talk to them about how hard I had life on days.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               So you're choosing.


Michael:
              Part of this vulnerability is wisely choosing where you're talking to. Yeah, and sometimes, and this is actually probably a really important point, especially as we continue to talk about this with folks, is we've got to be careful that when you're talking about vulnerability, you're not talking about being vulnerable with everybody.


Kathryn:
               It's not a blanket thing.


Michael:
              And if you're new to vulnerability, that's not assumed.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              We can't assume that. So that's probably really good. As we wrap up today, I'm really glad you wanted to talk about this. This is a really important point. It's important for our own mental and emotional health in business. The mental game, the mindset, the mindset is actually as critical, if not more critical than the competencies. All the other competencies.


Kathryn:
               Definitely.


Michael:
              And without vulnerability, you cannot work on your mindset. You need a team around you. You need coaches around. You need people to encourage you and you're not getting lost in a pity party. That's not the goal and that's not what we're suggesting. But learning how to find that balance so that you are open enough to say, this is where my challenges are, this is where I've got to grow. Finding people around you wisely that will listen and be a good sounding board for you and give you direction, ask you good questions and if it's appropriate, finding a good coach. I think this is what mastermind's, good masterminds are all about.


Michael:
              They're expensive to get into, but they're very valuable and you get into a place where if you choose wisely, they're dealing with both a mindset and the skill sets, the other skillsets of having a healthy company, having a growing company, a Passion and Provision company. And I'm looking forward to the day that we start our own mastermind group for HaBO village and bring those folks in and I'm looking forward to seeing that group of 30 or 40 people that come together that are like, that's my ilk.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Those really, really, really my people. And they're at a place in business where they can afford to be part of a mastermind and they're ready to move to that next level in business. That's a really cool thing, so I'm excited about that. Vulnerability is important. Thank you for bringing it up. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to bring up this topic.


Michael:
              And folks, if you're listening and this is valuable to you, we've got more podcasts on great topics like this, other skill sets in marketing and leadership and culture development. Even in finance of running a company that's a Passion and Provision company, implementing the Passion and Provision strategies to build a company that's full of more profit, more purpose, and leaving a legacy for those around you and making the world a better place. This is powerful stuff. It feeds your soul and it feeds your wallet and we want both to happen.


Kathryn:
               We do. We have to eat and pay the mortgage.


Michael:
              And we love this talk, we love this process and we're thankful for you listening. If there's anything else that, any questions or anything, please go to our website. Habovillage.com. Go to the podcast section and leave some notes. We would love that. Hit subscribe in Apple Podcast. Tell your friends about us, and then know that HaBO Village is continuing to grow in context. And we have a course that we'll be opening up in the next few months and we're going to start talking about that more. So we thank you. Have a great day. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I am Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              For the HaBO Village Podcast. Take care.