The note, discretely written on the back of the hot tea label was discretely slipped to me with that one word written on it.
I was speaking in front of a large group and I have to admit, there would be other notes I would have rather received. That said, I’m glad that one of the attendees found a way to let me know that, in fact, my zipper was down.
I lost my train of thought and while the note was discreet, I chose to fix the issue and then disclose the note to my audience. And now, in this week’s Wednesdays With Wayne, I’m choosing to share my embarrassment with you.
As a leader, you’re going to make mistakes right out there where others can see them.
You are human and by not trying to be other than that, you allow your audience – your team, your family, the community – to trust you even more. Yes, you could beat yourself up for being unprofessional or whatever other words come to mind. You aren’t perfect.
And in that moment of imperfection, as my zipper was down in front of a new audience, I chose to be transparent. I didn’t make it a show. I made it a talking point. Allowing those that you lead to see that you make mistakes and that you can instantly recover from them gives a sense of humanity.
And it’s that which is missing from our interactions in business: Humanity
It’s that humanity element which we can re-infuse into our daily lives as we deal with others, honestly, directly, and boldly.
Whether it’s a major decision you’ve made or a misstep in your course of action, you can recover from virtually every embarrassing moment by acknowledging it and moving on from it. I didn’t dwell there. I used that incident to give permission for others in the room to risk with their teams.
Be yourself. Be MORE than yourself and let that become your next big self.
Make mistakes. Acknowledge them. Move forward.
That’s the lesson this week.
Keep at it. Keep making your magic.
~ Dr P ~
Two quick afterthoughts: What’s funny is that most of the guys reading this have checked to see if their zipper is down. It’s not. You’re okay.
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