One principle of courageous leadership is the willingness to be exposed and vulnerable. This is a terrifying prospect for many.
Richard Rohr writes, “Vulnerability isn’t admired in our culture. If we haven’t touched and united with the vulnerable place within us, we’re normally projecting seeming invulnerability outside and judging others for their weakness. This seems particularly true of men, as many years of leading male initiation rites have taught me. Human strength wants to promote, project, and protect a clear sense of self-identity and autonomy rather than inter-being or interface.”
We’re living in high defense mode. Many leaders are most interested (meaning more interested than anything else) in first, being correct. Being sure. Being certain. Being absolute. One currently highly visible national leader apparently will not allow himself to admit have been wrong or apologize for any error.
Their interactions with others in not collaborative. It is instructive, demanding, intimidating and threatening.
I (as a man in later life) believe central to this absolute self certainty is a soul-deep fear of having lived a life which has somehow fallen short. Even if it hasn’t, an inner voice suggests it has.
In the movie “Moonstruck”, Cosmo Castorini (Vincent Gardenia) is confronted by his infidelities and speaks his fear.
Vulnerability and exposure, including self admitting to shortcomings, failures, and falling short, is a mark of courageous leadership.
Self-define. Work on emotional maturity. Watch those triangles!
Peace and courage,