motivational coach sheli G

Posts tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

The New Black… for LEADERS

Vulnerability.

What does that word bring up for you?

Open. Victim. Brave. Weak. Insecure. Truth-telling.

vulnerable oprah

We tend to associate vulnerability with beliefs, people, and places that we have experienced in our past. In the English language, Vulnerability can reference various states of being, depending on the assumed or referenced context;

  • the state of being vulnerable or exposed
  • easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, financially or emotionally

Most of the Vulnerability definitions you can find online are pretty much referring to an old-school, “bad news” come-from.

If you are military for example, you are trained not to be vulnerable, because vulnerability leaves you open to attack. This is similar to the old Corporate leadership structure. Act tough. Be “strong”. Represent a fortress-like presence so that everyone will respect you, be intimidated by you, and assume you do not have any weak spots they can prey upon.

vulnerable 1

This doesn’t work anymore.
There are certainly moments or situations to “shore up” ourselves, and not be opened up wide. Not every situation or person is safe. However, all of us are vincible, whether we act strong all the time or not. And we all know this- not only about ourselves, but about mankind in general. (cat’s out of the bag!) It used to be fashionable to act tough all the time. But these days, the new coolness, the must-have tool in any leaders tool-belt, the new Black for Leaders is: Healthy Vulnerability, by choice.

Healthy Vulnerability…. What?
“Vulnerability is the absolute heartbeat of innovation and creativity,” Brene Brown says. “There can be zero innovation without vulnerability.” Brene has a couple of very powerful and humorous TED TALKS on Vulnerability. Brené Brown Ph.D. LMSW is an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston

Entrepreneurs, Leaders, Managers, CEO’s, Bloggers, thought leaders…we are all vulnerable. Yup. There you have it. Don’t fight it. You’re expending pointless energy if you resist- something leaders don’t like to do! The minute we choose into putting ourselves, our beliefs, our ideas out there, we are vulnerable. The more you do it, the more vulnerable you are. To be a WORLD CHANGER, vulnerability is a huge key to success.

vulnerable armsAccording to Brown, vulnerability is: the combination of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.
Hmmm. This is pretty much entrepreneurship.
I know- I’ve been in it since 1995. Vulnerability is the natural culture of what we do. To pretend you are not vulnerable, is to lack authenticity. It’s tough to respect, much less follow that leader. He or she is perpetuating an atmosphere of denial and anxiety. It’s real, it’s healthy, and it is more courageous for every leader to be OK with healthy vulnerability. We ask our teams to do it. So- how can we inspire our teams to be honest, and take searching self-inventories of what IS working, and what is NOT working, if we do not lead them by example?  It is what I do, not just what I say. And if what I say and do are not in alignment, (that includes alignment with the companies results) it’s quite obvious.

So, just be pathetic all the time? To everyone?

vulnerable question

Um…No 🙂

Again, vulnerability is powerful when it’s accessed at the proper time, place and crowd.

I am not saying go drinking with your peeps, and totally breakdown, with no resolve or value as a net result. (really- don’t do this)
I am also not implying you should tell all your deepest secrets to your whole team or company.

I am not saying cry all the time. That would be exhausting. 🙂

Balance and being intuitively appropriate are also leadership keys.
You don’t throw out those other skills that you have worked so hard to cultivate. You integrate them all, intuitively.

Some leaders go to extremes. “I want to be strong and have them believe I can do anything! I don’t want to be vulnerable and show my fears, failures or weak areas…”
It’s NOT either or. It is BOTH/AND. How cool is that? Knowing what tool from your belt to use, when and how is critical.
measure
LEADERSHIP then is a customized set of skills and methods, masterfully woven together in doses, at the right times and places to be effective for all. Lots of solutions, winning and connecting will come with that combo. So will production, employee retention, and stunning innovation.
 
If you are open to it, being real about both your strengths and your blinders can be inspiring. At times you may reveal things to everyone. Sometimes that may be to a small elite mastermind group in the profession, company or team.

Sometimes both the bravado of releasing a vision, and the passion behind it, followed by humble tones of the obstacles that you face, and even a tear can be a winning combination. *I am not saying put that kind of speech together. If it’s too thought out, if it has a hook or contrived agenda- then it’s not inspiring. That’s not vulnerable, that’s manipulative theatrics. Big difference, and they can feel it.

puppet on a string

When I am speaking, I am open to all facets of my personality, strengths, and tools. I know where I am going, but I feel free to authentically use the words that come up for me in that moment, not scripted out. I also access both positivity and passion, vision casting and encouragement, with vulnerability in telling real stories, and addressing REAL challenges, so that I meet people where they are. I have had bliss and failure, and so have they. We are no different at our core. We all want to have purpose. We all want successful relationships. We all have dreams to fulfill. So resonating with your team, audience, or company, versus towering over them really works. It works because it’s connection. People dig true connection. They trust it. And trust is hard to gain these days, but so magical when you do.

vulnerable 2

An Island vs. a Village

We were not born alone, on an island. We don’t get anywhere without others, bad or good.
We accomplish things in communities of people. Family, Friends, Work, Church, Charities, Clubs…..it doesn’t really matter what we are creating; we do it better together.

happy meetingWhen a leader says: What are your ideas on this issue? Let’s brainstorm on this challenge or event…. Let’s bring all our experience, education and collective wisdom together in creating a new paradigm… THAT is inspiring. That is motivating. It’s engaging! People pay attention, and feel worthy when THEY are engaged.

That means you don’t have all the answers. And- you don’t. I don’t. That means you are taking time to listen. That means you care what others are thinking. That makes a great leader. There are times when time is short, and we just get to GO, with little collaboration. I get that. If that is most of the time, you may be trying to accomplish too much, too soon, with too little perspective and feedback. Narrow scopes offer narrow results. But there can be more time, blocked out intentionally, to collaborate and grow your company, your vision, your production, your influence and reach…by enrolling others.

To enroll others, we deserve to be vulnerable, as well as all the other traits that make a phenomenal leader. Perhaps in my next blog I will tell the story of my own personal “ONE DAY” when I totally got it, that vulnerability is paramount for a great leader. It’s mandatory for me.

Not always easy. But often necessary. And worth it.

I would love to hear YOUR comments and thoughts on vulnerability, especially for leaders. And any likes, shares…always welcome! 🙂
Many Blessings,
www.shelig.com
sheli  G
CILC | CMC | CEBC
www.shelig.com
CEO Women Ignite Idaho Conference and Trade Show
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WomenIgniteIdaho.com
International Speaker
Master Certified Business Coach
World Changer Leadership & Life Mastery Coach
“It’s time to ignite the World Changer in YOU!” ~sheli G

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Turning Clients into Evangelists

I think one of the best questions I can ask myself, or YOU as an Entrepreneur or Leader is: “How can I turn clients into evangelists for my business”.

leadership

I spent many years doing what I see a lot of folks still doing today; going from “Hero to Zero”.

tired

It’s exciting. But Hero to Zero is also exhausting. H to Z is: every event, every client, you ARE doing a phenomenal job. And subconsciously at least you are praying that this will, for Karma’s sake, go ahead and replicate itself. It’s the nice idea that if you do an awesome job, then people will automatically refer you tons of business... and your reputation will catch like wild fire… and set the entire globe ablaze!  Bliss! After all, as Zig Ziglar says “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” Which is similar to what my favorite book says: “Treat others as you wish to be treated”. YES. This does lay the core foundation, I believe, for success to truly manifest… at least honest, healthy success. And yet there is much more to the formula for entrepreneurs to get what they want and need to thrive in business or life long-term. So- lay the foundation, and then?

What do the masters say? Well this in itself is confusing, at least for me. It’s like overnight, EVERYONE became an expert of something.  (I suppose that includes me. *But it wasn’t overnight.) 🙂 Like “Social Media Experts” “SEO Experts” (there were experts in things before I ever knew what their initials meant!) “Law of Attraction Experts” and so on. Many of them say the same things, often. (which gets really boring) And then of course they will TOTALLY diverge just when you think you understand something, anything, and absolutely contradict one another… leaving you at square one. Oh goody- more EME. (entrepreneurial mental exhaustion)

THEN there are the trailblazers. The WORLD CHANGERS.

They are the ones who not only find their specific NICHE, develop way incredible products, but also leverage themselves so uniquely and/or dynamically in the marketplace. These mavericks often do this by rebelling against some of the very rules and the norm that we are “supposed” to follow. I like these guys and gals. In coaching clients on their Business or their Life, I don’t know of many people who want to be fenced in on every side. It makes us punchy. SO, let’s remember a couple of rule breakers who set themselves apart, and bucked the norm, to become industry giants. What specific lessons might we glean from their example?

The infamous, Steve Jobs.

We now remember him for his matchless (at least for now) innovations. But he was also known to be strong-willed, arrogant, and often overly sarcastic. Much of what Jobs did, runs completely counter to conventional beliefs about marketing. But based on results, maybe we need to be questioning more conventional beliefs. He didn’t befriend or BS the press. If anything- Jobs took on the press, and the people cheered. Instead of throwing himself shamelessly at every opportunity to answer questions about new or upcoming products, he avoided and darted them with enough of a hint of mischievous, that folks always assumed he was up to something ginormous. Fans were chomping at the bit to see him unveil. Even now, Apple-ites wait in crazy long lines to get a newly released Apple Product, as if were Oxygen. Just the joy of people and the press seeing that they are in the endless Apple line fuels their fanatical obsession. Momentum through mystery and come-and-get-me marketing. Brilliant. The lesson in Apple goes beyond the obvious slick products, and begs the question; How much of this success is also due to Job’s ornery and masterful enticement?

steve jobs4 steve jobs 3

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Musk in 2008 took over the electric car company Tesla, that was on the brink of ruin. America loves a Cinderella story. Elon turned Tesla into one of the coolest trending cars and brands in the world. The Model S starts at $70,000 and can go over $100,000. At 41 years old, Elon grew up in South Africa, and made his other fortune as a co-founder of PayPal. He isn’t doing too bad. Again, he has taken on some of the arrogance, rebellious, obnoxious traits we apparently loved in Jobs. Of course- you can get away with being more annoying when you can back it up. Tesla’s fans not only include their owners, but those who cannot afford one, but who are ridiculously fanatical about the brand anyway. Negative reports or Tweets by a journalist about the sassy car or CEO are sure to get swarmed, and not lovingly, by these tireless fans who will go to great lengths to defend the brand. The negative advertisement usually comes back around for even more unwavering fan love back to Tesla. (and a bit more disdain for the press)

Saab 9-5 Estate at Amsterdam RAI Autoshow

Oprah

http://news.yahoo.com/video/oprah-winfrey-delivers-harvard-commencement-210933786.html

Anytime you can say just the first name of a person- and the whole freakin planet just knows….it’s big. Actually, you could probably just name this section the “O” section. Point made. And Oprah also bucked some “rules”. She was the first woman to be successful at Phil Donahue’s playground, the daily drama filled Talk Show. (I think you needed to be a drinker to truly appreciate those shows) Moreover, O impressed us all that she didn’t come from wealth, or a political family, or have a size o, White body, and model perfect looks. She was refreshingly normal, and the opposite of Hollywood… she had compassion. She is clearly brilliant- or at least crazy BRAVE. She turned the TV Talk Show genre on its head, when she took her show from trashy stories, into a personal development and empowerment hub. O modeled from the stage, her own position on how we should be: authentic, emotional and full of empathy towards others. She showed the world how following your gut instincts and staying true to your heart, desire and passion will lead you to greater results and victories than the norm. Even for those who disagree with her methods, beliefs, or how cult-like her fans responded to her….

I say take YOUR BELIEFS, and dare to be as brave, dedicated, and hard-working as Oprah. Jobs. Elon. YES! Dare to stare your worst, nasty critics and judges in the face who say you are going to fail. YES. Stay the course on those days when it seems like only darkness surrounds, and the light is a far off train. YES. Honor the calling you find on your life with unfiltered passion, unwavering determination, incomprehensible consistency, and daily tuning back into your core, to your “Why?”… Why do you do what you do? If your WHY is big enough, (and I do believe we were all given a HUGE, unique “why” by God) then you will one day realize as the train comes into closer view, it was just pure light at the end of the tunnel. Then perhaps our clients, but more importantly our friends and family, will be those zealous, tireless evangelists for us and all we are to be and do.

Many Blessings,
sheli  G
www.shelig.com
CILC | CMC | CEBC

www.shelig.com
Certified International Business, Leadership & Life Success Coach
“It’s time to Level UP, and harness the World Changer in YOU!” ~sheli G

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