|Henry V: courageous and inspiring|
But where does such courage come from? Research of social worker Brene Brown deals with the fact that the best leaders are the ones whose courage comes, counter-intuitively, through the recognition of their own vulnerability. See her excellent TED talk for a fuller discussion of this.
Dr. Brown suggests that we must not only identify our own weakness, we must embrace it as part of the human condition. That is the only way to achieve what she calls the "whole-heartedness" that allows us to feel worthy of love, belonging, and connection. And without that sense of authentic connection, no one can be an effective leader. Look to Shakepeare's Henry V as an example of a leader who has learned this the hard way. He has grown from the wastrel Prince Hal to King Henry who rallies his troops while acknowledging their mortality. His courage and connection are intertwined and fully expressed in the eloquent St. Cripsin's Day, a.k.a "band of brothers" speech.
I tell clients who are working on their authentic leadership presence that being willing to draw upon your whole self to communicate in this way is not for the faint of heart. But it is the best way to courageously connect. And inspire your followers.