Why do so many leaders collapse under the weight of leadership? Jeff and Terra Mattson have counselled and coached hundreds of leaders and share how gaps in integrity develop.
In this interview, we list the signs you may be headed for a moral failure or collapse, how to spot a narcissistic leader, and the challenge young leaders face in shaping a perfect and growing platform.
Welcome to Episode 386 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey shares 5 keys to building a life of integrity.
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INSIGHTS FROM JEFF AND TERRA
1. Unresolved trauma is a hidden cause of the integrity gap in leaders today
It’s easy to see the gap between what many leaders preach and what many preachers actually live out in their lives. So, what is causing this gap? And why do leaders almost never see their own moral failures coming? Jeff and Terra have been studying this for decades, and one of the biggest and unexpected causes is unresolved trauma.
Whether it was abuse as a child, frequent moves or any other abnormal life-altering event, leaders have a tendency to minimize the trauma in their past. When they do this, that trauma begins to grow and spread until it manifests itself as that leader becoming someone they never intended to be.
2. There’s a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate vulnerability
When it comes to talking about personal struggles, there is a fine line between sharing an appropriate and inappropriate amount of personal information. Many people take their internal trauma and struggles and blast it all over social media. This is usually an example of being too vulnerable, and it could undercut your influence.
On the other hand, there are leaders who are never vulnerable. So, how much public vulnerability is appropriate? Jeff and Terra have found that it’s a fine line. A few signs that you are being inappropriate are:
- Sharing stories that aren’t yours to tell
- Sharing things publicly online before discussing it with your internal circle
- Or not being vulnerable when everyone else is (like, pretending everything is great in a global pandemic)
If you’re doing any of these things, you probably aren’t walking the line of appropriate vulnerability.
3. Narrow the gap between our private walk and our public talk
Over the last few decades, our culture has shifted to prioritizing people with charisma over people with character. Social media has accelerated that trend. Now, the gap between who we look like online and who we actually are is widening, and this gap will begin to tear us apart as it widens.
So, what can you do to change this? Narrow the gap between who you really are and who you are online. Admit your failures, don’t spend so much time on filters and allow people to see the real you. And, if you don’t want to show who you really are, maybe you need to invest more time into your own health before you put on a front online.
Quotes from Episode 386
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Harris III
Harris III traveled the world as a teenage illusionist, making a million dollars by age 21 and losing it all at age 22. His growing cynicism almost took him down, but around age 30, he learned to recapture wonder. He explains how wonder can not only recapture your personal hope (and faith), but how it’s an essential ingredient to leadership and crafting a story that rallies people.
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