By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
Did you know that you can use your imperfections as a superpower?
I was talking a while back with my strategic partner, Michael Cantu, about a subject we covered in our soon-to-be-published paperback on digital transformation: the power of celebrating our quirks and shortcomings.
It’s a key element to building the right culture and teams supporting digital transformation. It inspired me so much that I just had to share it with you!
Ever since Michael was a little kid, he’s experienced shaky hands. It’s not because he’s nervous…it just happens naturally. So, when he was a kid coming into a new classroom, he would let other kids know about his quirk, something like this: "Just to let you know, I have shaky hands. I’m not nervous; they just shake."
What a great way to help his classmates deal with what could be an uncomfortable situation!
Now he uses it as a superpower in business…when he’s giving presentations, he jokes about his shaky hands with everyone, telling them they’ll never be able to know if he’s nervous because he’s shaking all the time. That’s how he hides any potential nervousness because they’ll never know if he is or not.
And he’s applied this philosophy to creating great cultures in organizations and building rock star teams…all through making it a norm to accept people’s differences.
So, here are some lessons learned along these lines, inspired by his story:
1. Embrace Our Quirks
Michael didn’t see his shaky hands as a big issue as a kid. He accepted the fact and decided to deal with it in positive ways.
Lessons Learned: so many of us don’t like our weaknesses. We think it’s something we have to hide or minimize, perhaps because it points out the possibility that there’s something wrong with us. But some of the most outstanding leaders I know humbly acknowledge their weaknesses.
2. Be Yourself, With No Excuses
Because Michael accepted his situation, there was no reason for him to make any excuses. Instead, he chose to highlight, in a unique way, what made him different from everyone else so that he could put others at ease.
Lessons Learned: There’s such strength in being ourselves. If we can learn to celebrate our weaknesses on a regular basis, that lessens our striving to be something we’re not. Just being who we make it that much easier for others to interact with us, and as a leader, that much easier to follow.
3. Use Our Quirks as a Superpower
Michael’s ability to accept his quirks has been key to building two successful companies and putting together high-performing teams for his clients.
Lessons Learned: when we can embrace our weaknesses, that gives us the ability to accept and celebrate others’ weaknesses. This, in turn, creates an environment where team members and employees feel free to be themselves. When that happens, the sky limits what teams and companies can accomplish!
I hope Michael’s story inspires you as much as it did me! I hope you can practice some of these tips to help you in your leadership journey.
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About the paperback, I mentioned earlier…Michael and I hope to have it published soon! Last fall, we published the e-book with great results—it was the #1 New Release in IT on Amazon. We’re excited!
If you’d like to learn more about the e-book, click on the button below to check it out.