By: LUMO Leaders
Oftentimes when we hear a phrase like courageous leadership – grandiose thoughts of leader bravery come to mind. Large sweeping monumental acts. In over 10,000 hours of coaching and facilitation experience I’ve learned that the most daring and courageous leader experiences take place in the small moments.
The following story is shared with permission.
At LUMO, we have the world’s best Executive Coordinator. That’s right – I said it. Her name is Spring Schneider and she is a highly trained coach, animal lover, daughter, sister, and one of the kindest and most gentle souls I have had the pleasure of knowing. Spring started out a few years ago as my assistant and quickly proved herself as an invaluable member of the team. Spring grew quickly in her role, exceeding expectations at every turn. When I say we won the lottery with Spring, it’s no exaggeration. We joke that Elena Arecco Bridgmon, our CAO and Spring can never fly together because if the plane went down, the business would be in trouble. The LUMO version of designated survivor.
A few weeks back, there was a communication breakdown with a project Spring was leading. The project involved our largest client and some delivery of work. If you haven’t ever worked in a startup or small business, one of the things to know is that things move quickly and change quickly. While changes are happening – the right people aren’t always getting updates as things pivot. In a nutshell, several key players had failed to communicate with Spring around changes – a few times over the course of several days.
Understandably, Spring was frustrated.
Here’s where the courageous leader part comes in. Instead of stewing on her upset, or blaming my partners for their breakdowns, Spring brought a very powerful leader conversation: she told the team the truth about the impact of their behavior. She shared how the oversights made her feel, what they could do better going forward, and what it would take to clean it up with her.
“Tell the Truth.”
We’ve been told this since we were in pre-school.
Should be simple, right?
It’s not, actually.
From the United Nations to the NBA to some of the biggest law firms in the world, I have seen people with huge titles and even bigger salaries fail to tell the truth. Instead, they remuniate, make up a lot of stories and, ultimately, end up resenting the people they work with – leading to a very dysfunctional culture overall.
The thing I am most proud of at LUMO? Our culture.
We tell the truth to each other despite the discomfort of doing so. We do it because we know that the alternative is not a viable option and because we respect and trust each other deeply. In short, we practice what we preach as coaches and leadership trainers out in the world.
Like our dear Spring, we are courageous leaders.
Want to learn more about becoming a courageous leader? Want a better culture?
We can show you how. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started!
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