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Tag: friendship



When I think of the words “leader” or “leadership”, part of me wants to roll my eyes at the fluffiness. The terms “manager” and “management” just sounds stronger, more determined and more focused.

When I think of a manager, I think of someone who calls people out on their bullshit. He or she is a numbers person. They get down to business, make the tough decisions, streamline processes, and increase profits. When I think of a leader, the first thing that comes to my mind is people. Leaders are people oriented, while managers are business oriented. A person in a position of leadership needs to excel at both.

But here’s what I think…

People are at the heart of everything we do. Brené Brown says humans are wired to connect with one another. They say the number one reason employees stay at their jobs is because of the friendships they make with coworkers.

The skills of a leader outshine the skills of a manager. Yet, leadership skills seem to be highly underrated.

Leadership is hard to define. And this is coming from someone who has been trained in leadership! There’s talk about “natural born leaders”, and while I think there’s some truth to the thought, I think you need to want to be a leader in order to lead.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart, and there is much, much more to it than what people understand on the surface. When I discuss leadership concepts with people, they agree and may even tell a story that justifies their understanding. But unless they practice what they preach, I have little respect for their opinion. There’s a big difference in thinking and doing, and it’s leaders that differentiate one from the other.

The Whole-Hearted.

The Whole-Hearted.

I came across a TEDTalk presented by human connection researcher Brené Brown.  It’s a 20 minute presentation that I highly recommend watching.  She keeps you engaged, and you’re left feeling inspired and grateful.

Brown talks about her research and how human connection boils down to (among other things) vulnerability and worthiness.  Human connection is what gives our lives purpose.  It’s neurobiological wiring.  But to have connection, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.  We need to expose ourselves and be vulnerable.  In her research, Brown found that when you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak.  When you ask people about connection, they tell you about disconnection.  These people have been vulnerable.

Vulnerability is necessary.  It’s a willingness to do something when there are no guarantees.  But we are afraid of the unknown. We put up guards against vulnerability to protect ourselves.  We numb it with alcohol, medication, food, and money.  But vulnerability is the birthplace of beauty, love, joy, and creativity.  We have to believe that we are worthy of beauty, creativity, joy, love and belonging.  To have a connection we need to feel we are worthy of connection.