I learn more from my Designers than they do me.
It was during a farewell speech on my final day at an inner city Advertising Agency that my boss gave me a complement that stuck like tar on skin.
“Without knowing it, I’ve become a smarter person by knowing you.
You’ve taught me more than I’ve taught you”
Now, believe you me, this isn’t a thinly veiled attempt to pump my tyres, or cast myself as an intelligent person by any stretch. Far from it. My former mentor and boss was displaying to me a great lesson in leadership; Vulnerability is not a weakness.
Having guided teams of young Designers for over 15 years, I have to evolve, and learn to shelve the internal bravado and pride that can result in the facade that a leader should ‘know it already’. As leaders we are educated early on to hire talent to address our weakness’s as people and professionals. So with this in firmly in mind, wouldn’t it be perfectly acceptable that through the osmosis of each team members strengths and weaknesses, we could all actually learn something from people younger and less experienced?
So what’s the harm in acknowledging this?
I am a creative person, I make stuff. By its very definition creativity is exploration, un-charted territory, dangerous and exciting. So as you stare ahead without a roadmap, and sometimes, short of a clue, it may be the people sharing the journey that sometimes guide the guide.
Being open and vulnerable enough to actively encourage an environment where everyone has a voice, devoid of fear and hierarchy, is a must for any leaders toolkit, and the outcomes are consistent:
– Your team evolve.
– You become instantly better.
– And each project is further improved by a true shared passion.
So as progressive leaders let’s drop the ‘done it all before’ boss bravado and seek advice and show some vulnerability.
Tears are optional.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to share war stories and learn from other ‘learning’ business leaders.