Leadership Through Innocence & Vulnerability
Posted by Perspect
For many years in high society England, children had little access to adults (leadership), in fact they spent most of their time among nannies. During tea time, they would have an hour of “orderly” time with their parents, but no more.
During Bible times, children were to be seen and not heard. Their disorderly conduct, their uninhibited energy and play just weren’t a fit for the serious and wise world of adulthood.
However, one of the most studied leaders in history, Jesus, recognized their amazing value and admonished anyone who said they had no place in His Kingdom.
When you look closely at a young child, you can’t miss a quality that we have lost as adults, as leaders: pure and abundant innocence. They beam with freedom from a world of shame and regret. Something that over time we become suffocated in. They entertain new thoughts with humility and wonder. Something over time we have become afraid of as it represents weakness.
As a revered leader in his time Jesus told these “wise and serious” adults that, it’s not children who have no place in the Kingdom, it is the wise and serious adult who won’t humble himself to return to the innocence of childhood. In this sense, children are the ones who truly succeed through fulfillment.
Along these same lines Gandhi stated, “The greatest lessons in life, if we would but stoop and humble ourselves, we would learn not from the grown-up learned men, but from the so-called ignorant children.”
You can study from many a great leader and hear this message repeated time and time again.
When was it that you lost your “wonderment”, your desire for excitement? Can you remember? Somewhere around the time when you demanded certainty around a relationship, control over the outcome of a situation. Did your need to know replace you yearning for amazement?
I challenge you to ask yourself, I “wonder” what is causing this to happen to me? As opposed to judging the situation or being afraid of it. Approach it with the curiosity you had as a child — why, why, why?
I must warn you – you will find the answer if you do this, provider you with a deeper view into yourself. Holding this space for true curiosity will shift you away from a “why me” mindset. The world is not always about you.
Socrates stated, Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. This wonder will show up in your leadership as authentic vulnerability, truly seeking input from those around you, including those you lead.
“Without vulnerability, there is no growth.” – C McAllister
The wonder and curiosity you had as a child has not disappeared, it has only been masked by fear. Be courageous, be curious and begin growing – ask those around you, “What can I do to be a better _______ ?” (You fill in the blank, maybe it is listener, boss, employee, father etc.) Listen for the answer with the curiosity of a child, suspending all judgement and fear – be amazed at what you learn!
Remember, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” – Berkely Breathed.