By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
I was talking last week with my strategic partner, Michael Cantu’, about a subject we’re covering in our soon-to-be published e-book on digital transformation: the power of celebrating our quirks and shortcomings.
It’s a key element to building the right culture and teams that are supportive of digital transformation. It inspired me so much, 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 fellow 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 that they’ll never be able to tell 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
As a kid, Michael didn’t see his shaky hands as a big issue. He accepted the fact and decided to deal with it in positive ways.
Lessons Learned: so many of us really don’t like our weakness. 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 greatest leaders I know humbly acknowledge their weaknesses.
2. Be Yourself, With No Excuses
Because Michael was accepting of 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 are makes 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 own 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 other’s weaknesses. This in turn creates an environment where team members and employees feel free to be themselves. When that happens, the sky is the limit for what teams and companies can accomplish!
I hope Michael’s story inspires you as much as it did me! I also hope that you can put into practice some of these tips to help you in your leadership journey.
About the e-book I mentioned earlier…Michael and I hope to have it published by soon! We’re excited, to say the least!
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn a little bit more about digital transformation, click on the button below to check out one of my blogs on the topic. You'll get an overview of what it is and what it can do for your organization!