One of my favorite quotes is,

“being the authentic, unapologetic you is totally on trend.”

I wish it were more true. We all harbor a burning desire to be able to just “be ourselves.” I’m confident that in an environment where this is possible our potential is limitless.

I’m convinced that leaders wanting to inspire others to action should be transparent. With our recent economic crisis, failing businesses everywhere and the not so transparent presidential election where the integrity of leaders is constantly in question. Surrounded with fake persona's and failed leadership I'm inspired to share this ah ha moment of mine about the power of transparency.

Here it is....

Some time ago, I wrote a post “What Will You Do Differently...” I was on the facilitating team for an intense three-day leadership training for teens - 20 students, ages 14 to 18. After the first day because of the intensity of the process, one of the students chose to quit the program. Of the remaining 19 students, I was amazed at the diversity in the group. We had representation from USA, Canada and Mexico. Almost immediately, the group divided themselves into brands like apparel stores in a mall - Abercrombie, Hot Topic, Forever 21 and Finish Line.

As facilitators, we were instructed NOT to show emotion, that throughout the process the young people must learn to lean on themselves and each other. Two of the students really challenged that directive for me. The first was a young lady with a sad demeanor that couldn’t hide her broken self-image. She didn’t fit into a brand, and she was quick to isolate herself from the rest of the group. The other, the extreme opposite - a very tall, handsome jock whom all the ladies in the class were crushing pretty hard on. He was a junior in high school and was already being recruited by college basketball scouts. I noticed immediately his “Mr. Cool” attitude. His father, likely to be some CEO, sent him to the training to develop strong leadership skills. At first glance, I foolishly assumed he would be the “leader” of the group.

As the students went through each challenging process, I watched their outer images start to breakdown and more of their inner strengths shine through. With no emotional support from facilitators, it took a great deal of transparency to get through the training. Halfway through and failing each process miserably, the group was in desperate need of a leader. Because of his 'too cool for school' attitude, I’d given up on the tall, handsome jock. Much to my surprise, it was the young, broken girl that emerged as the leader in the group. To this day, I don’t know what her breaking point was. Literally, up until that moment, she was not engaged with other members of the group outside of facilitated and forced interaction. She stepped up out of a genuine intent to help the team and selflessly put herself at risk. I don’t know if it was out of inspiration or desperation but the rest of the group followed her. I remember thinking to myself, unfortunately this is something you’d never see on the school yard.

Later that evening, in a closed circle where the students expressed their thoughts, feelings and experiences on this journey, she opened up for the first time. She shared her story of how her mom died when she was very young and she went to live with another family. She told the group about how she never fit in there, or anywhere for that matter. She said she'd always been teased about the way she looks, and she began to share some of the cruel things the girls in her biology class would do and say to her. I wanted to beat them up. With tears in her eyes, she told her classmates that this was the first time she ever felt accepted in her life. She said, even more importantly, it was the first time she accepted herself and felt proud of who she was. I was touched.

Meanwhile, Mr. 'Too Cool for School' was clenching his fist. It was the first time I saw him react in a manner outside of those of a cast member on The Hills. He stood up, walked over to her and said, “You are beautiful, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.”

It was those two acts of transparency that unleashed the power of the group. The students engaged in deep discussions about their common ground and shared challenges despite their differences. They started to strategize about how their generation could make a difference in our out of whack world today - about how they each can impact what goes on in their schools, homes and in their workplaces. They created a plan on how they could continue to support each other despite the distance between them (of course the plan involved Social Media!).

What I heard that night, the collaborative idea’s, hopes and dreams of these young people was more brilliant than anything I’d heard in amongst the finest Executive gatherings. I developed a new-found confidence in this next generation. That weeked I observed a group willing to be transparent transform into leaders. Transparency in Leaders I wish we had more of today.

amanda hite
talent rev-o-lu-tiona drastic change in thinking and behaving with talent.

Views: 2

Tags: 2008, amanda, authentic, crisis, election, financial, hite, leadership, revolution, talent, More…transparent

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Lissa on October 8, 2008 at 7:51am
"Being able to facilitate that shift is the essence of leadership" - Otto Scharmer, MIT
We are in dire need of leadership and leadership development processes that have the potential to create real transformation, effecting our relationships with other countries, with the environment, with other species, and with our own selves. Yet, the challenges of developing transformational leaders often times seem to be as big as the need for them. Otto Scharmer feels that one of the greatest needs is to figure out how to make it safe enough for people in positions of authority to transform- to achieve a real depth in sensing and opening to their higher Self so that truly innovative action can occur.
I am so glad you are out there facilitating this type of work Amanda!
Comment by Andy Swingley on October 7, 2008 at 6:24pm
Awesome Amanda! I want to hear more about this! How do we help others to join in this kind of leadership?

By the way, are you voting for Obama?

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service