It’s remarkably uncomfortable being questioned and pressed to the brink. Being pushed to a fork in the road: Either I search for the best answer – one that defends my position and demonstrates that I really do know what I’m doing; one that validates and confirms what I know. Or, I take a deep breath, let it in, and allow myself to consider my thinking, strategies and decisions from a brand new vantage point.
Have you been there before? I recently had the honor of being advised by a few extraordinary leaders in a Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network CEO Session, and I walked away with a gem.
There was a moment when a very smart, highly capable and practiced CEO asked me, “Do you know why you are pursuing this strategy? Have you thought about…” Instantly the wind left my sails and I felt a nagging worry, “She doesn’t think I know what I’m doing. She doesn’t think I’m good at this.” Then the choice. I took a deep breath and let it in and immediately realized that was just a story. The truth – “She’s here to help. She’s helping me cover my bases. She wants me to succeed.” And so I replied with the only answer I had to give. “I’m not sure. I just know this can’t stay the way it is.”
Humility is defined as having a modest view of one’s own importance. My translation – by allowing my ideas to diminish in this moment, I become teachable, and I open myself up to see brand new possibilities I could have never seen without the help of others.
In that session, I received a gift. I learned. I saw further around the corner. And a blind spot became a brand new insight that I can’t wait to explore.
As we closed, another advisor whom I have come to value greatly said to me, “Your ability to learn (and I would add, to be humble enough to receive even when it stings a bit) is your superpower. Never give that up!”
In this oddly challenging virtual world, it’s even harder to see around the corner, and there’s even more potential to misinterpret others intentions, especially when we are receiving feedback. Humility can be our guide…our superpower.
Humility is the first attribute of HEART-Level Leadership. Read more here…