Lead with vulnerability.
Hard-edged coaches like Bobby Knight would never lead with vulnerability.
They would never admit any weakness when addressing their team.
But admitting fear or concern to the people that we work with can go a long way towards motivating the team towards a common goal.
This is true for several reasons.
First, if we are honest about the team’s present reality and we discuss that reality in a frank and open way, there can be no doubt in the team member’s head about where things stand.
Honesty begets honesty.
Second, people on our team need to feel free to express their own concerns. The things that they worry about when it comes to the group’s efforts.
Also, being honest about the things that concern us helps rally the team to work on those concerns.
We held our quarterly firm retreat yesterday.
I shared, in a constructive way, some concerns and trepidation that I have been feeling as the firm prepares for several months as we work without our world-class paralegal while she goes out on maternity leave.
We have good people at our firm and the team rallied.
They instantly understood what I was saying.
We spent the day putting in systems to adjust to our new, upcoming reality.
I suppose that I could have simply dictated what needed to be done.
But the team became much more invested when I lead with vulnerability. When I was true and open about my feelings.
When I was real.