Can I Honestly Be Open and Vulnerable?

Many well-known leaders throughout history at times were down, their souls empty. From King David, Napoleon, Henry VIII, Emperor Sato, and President’s Lincoln and Reagan to name a few.  They all had someone they could be honest and open enough with to talk about the challenges they faced. It takes a special person and strength of character to accept vulnerability along their leadership journey. Sometimes all it takes is walk through a door.

If we are to be a people of integrity, then we must confront our lack of it. Earlier, we discussed how an Elegant Leader is to open up, armor up or wise up. Leadership is about choices! Whether you realize it or not, a storm is brewing. Life is passing by at a torrent pace and in those passing moments it will be gone without even realizing it.

Knowledge is horizontal. Wisdom is vertical.

Not every relationship bears fruit or at least good fruit. David faced great opposition from those who repaid evil for good and attacked him.  Opposition does not only come through the world – it can even come from your own people. David offerred up in his anguish, ‘How long are you going to stand there doing nothing?’  We all stumble along our paths. Sometimes we don’t know which door to choose. We can feel we are walking quite happily and then suddenly we stumble. There may be times when we fail to meet our own standards. It takes wisdom to be open and vulnerable.

Whatever you’re dealing with…


…afraid to acknowledge…

…fearful of…

…unsure about, again…

by not making a choice, you’re making a choice.

Wisdom Comes From listening. Wisdom is willingness to listen to and learn from others. Sir Isaac Newton said, ‘I find intelligence is better spotted when analysing the questions asked rather than the answers given.’ Often, those who know most speak least. When we are talking, we are usually merely repeating what we already know. When we are listening, we may learn something new.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Asking great questions is key to being a good conversationalist. It was said of President John F. Kennedy  he made you think he had nothing else to do except ask you questions and listen, with extraordinary concentration, to your answer. You knew, for the time being, he had blotted out both the past and the future for you.

“Life is full of decisions and choices. And with those choices come consequences. Decisions and choices start the first dominos of consequences.”  – Dino Rizzo

The power of Elegant Leadership is serving one another. In the last days, the greatest leader became the greatest servant. Titles don’t transform people. They don’t influence people to evolve into the potential that one has. The Elegant Leader leans into situations. They get involved. They continue to give and to demonstrate examples of true leadership. They get in the mess of people’s lives. It’s your responsibilityto not wash your hands of the situations. Help them find their door.

Voltage of the Elegant Leader comes in the form of openness, vulnerability and honesty.

Wisdom leads to simplicity. Wisdom brings clarity. Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from the complex to the simple. We stay grounded by focusing on the simplest step we can make in leading people to walk through their door.

Wisdom is holistic. Wisdom is shown not only in what we say, but also in how we live.  Wisdom is about the whole of life, rather than just our intellect or our words. Wisdom should grow as we get older. Not that anyone’s wisdom is flawed or imperfect. It grows as we mature. We pray for our children so they will grow in wisdom and stature.

It is far more important to grow in wisdom than to grow in wealth. Wisdom outweighs wealth.

Stand still and listen. You cannot develop an intimate relationship with anyone without setting aside time to communicate with them. It’s a two-way conversation as a person speaks with a friend – talking and listening at the same time, watching for each other’s reaction. Be still and know how to live today in a relationship of intimacy, simplicity and obedience. Walk through your door.

What’s so important to your ego that overrides your voice?

What will be your response?

How will you get involved?

Who’s help, counsel or advice will you seek out?

We cannot ignore our responsiblity to help one another. Countless times I’ve asked audiences to tell me where in Barnes & Noble are the helping other’s section of books is located. Now is your opportunity, your responsibility, your decision, your choice. There are many doors to choose from and only one is not gray. What will you choose?

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