The following story is personally embarrassing but it taught me a major leadership lesson. My family was on vacation in Jekyll Island and it was time for us to go to the beach. My wife and I took an afternoon to sit under an umbrella, relax, get out of the sun, and do some reading.
I had my right leg under the umbrella in the shade but was unaware that my left foot was stretched too far out and was exposed to the sun. After 90 minutes, I was carrying all the items back to the hotel when I noticed my left foot was looking extremely “scaly” for lack of a better word.
I’m a guy but surely you don’t put sunscreen on your feet do you? Well, yes you do because after a couple of hours I had a major sunburn on one foot that did not heal until a week later. My daughter started calling me “lobster.” With only one burned foot, I looked like a member of the X-Men just without any of the superpowers.
Here is the leadership lesson this experience taught me: When leaders leave even one part of their life open, no matter how trivial they think that may be, they are unprotected. They are exposed. And they will get burnt.
If these behaviors are not repented of and changed, the question is not WILL you get burnt? You will. The question is WHEN will you get burnt?
Leaders, does anything on this list concern you? Do you need to make significant changes TODAY? If so, please do or you may disqualify yourself from leading others.
What other behaviors would you list that could burn leaders?
Brian Dodd is a Generosity Architect and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions and a prolific blogger at BrianDoddonLeadership.com.
CC Image (Adapted) • _rockinfree on Flickr