Leaders Go First
Scars are a consequence of life. We pick them up along the way.
I don’t just mean those physical scars– the ones found on the body. I also mean those scars that are non-physical – the ones found in the body. Scars of the heart, the mind, the psyche, the soul. Scars that are the result of pain, endeavour, risks and mistakes.
Scars are irresistibly interesting.
As leaders it is our duty to uncover our scars. It is our duty to earn the trust of those that are with us that will open the door for them to uncover theirs. Our team mates, our friends, our family – those that make any journey worthwhile. The people that bare their scars, that don’t hide them from our fellow travellers, are the adventurers. They are the ones that have lived, learned and are ready to lead. They are the leaders I want to follow. They are the people that inspire the world with their beautiful scars.
Every scar is a story waiting to be told, an experience to be shared. They are unavoidable, scars are life. Those that can show their scars though, they are the ones that have learned the lessons of their stories. They have experienced the rawness and vulnerability of standing on the ledge alone. These people are ready to go first, to open the door for others to show their scars. Leading is having the courage to go first and open the doors for others to follow.
I look for the scars. I look for those beautiful lessons, those stories of persistence and survival, success and failure. Because whether I am choosing a team mate or a leader, I want to know that they have lived, that they have risked, that they have had the courage to stand on the ledge and are ready to share their wisdom. Scars don’t care about age, it’s irrelevant.
I do my best to bare my scars so that I can learn more and be a better leader. I tell my stories and share my learning. I share them with the courageous people who are not quite ready, those that are ready and those that are already doing it, to take a step into the abyss. To leap. To risk making a mistake. To take a chance on living. To choose to be the leader or the follower.
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting holy shit…….what a ride!!”
Free yourself. A well preserved body (and soul, heart, mind, psyche) is not the end we deserve. Take a look in the mirror, my friend. I know it’s scary. I promise you, it’s worth it.