Will Salyards
Leadership Coaching and Mentoring

Will Salyards, PhD Blog

Life, Career, Leadership

Cracked Leaders Apply Here

No one is perfect and few fully adjusted. In other words, most of us are like cracked pots: We have the promise of potential but with a few leaks and if the strain gets too great our insides show. The goal isn’t to repair the cracks - they’re life long - but to make our inside beautiful so that when we’re strained people experience grace instead of grief. After all, isn’t that the kind of leader you’d want leading your enterprise? So what are we to do? I think the first step is not to accept that adage that we’re no worse than the next person; it’s a cop-out. One leader may have had something like this in mind when two of his vice presidents tried an end-run around the others in a bid for seniority. When news got out - and it always does, doesn’t it - the others were indignant so he called a meeting and laid out the policy for advancement. He began by saying, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” All were stunned.

There were some hard-chargers in his leadership suite. One had earned his way to the top with street smarts and determination. Another was a political junkie: no lack of courage and cunning there. Two others were known for their quick temper; a temper that loosed would have at one point harmed of hundreds of people – really, they we’re that way – but of course they had arranged that the blame miss them.

Apparently his talk had some effect; they stopped ignoring people. Had they taken to heart the servant thing? Did they look inside themselves and realize that being content and at peace without bettering others, isn’t either?

In truth, I don’t know. They had some moments after this too but it’s plain that from this point on, their cracks notwithstanding, these pots became increasingly beautiful on the inside. The street fighter willingly gave up his office as First Vice President to a newcomer; one who wasn’t in the formative years of the company. Rather than intimidate with his anger in a deeply personal matter, another submitted to the decision of a court. The rage-aholic no longer shifted blame.

The lesson I take from this is service doesn’t require perfection but the willingness to confront myself so that the baggage I carry doesn’t become the baggage they carry. I think it means to not try hiding the cracks but accept the life experience they represent and instead to give myself to repairing the insides of my life. Talking about the journey is helpful. Talking with a Professional Coach is even better. Try a free sampler. It's easy, just click here to book our visit.