You Should Read This

No, not this. This.

It’s Penelope Trunk’s latest post and she’s saying something very important. I haven’t completely processed its relevance for me but I’m writing about it anyway because I think that’s the point.

She writes about things she’s unsure about because it makes her more authentic and vulnerable and therefore more attractive and compelling to her growing audience of readers.

She’s expressing something that I have learned to believe in totally: that we are more interested in learning from other people’s uncertainty because it makes us feel normal that we are uncertain ourselves. That we are all struggling to figure something out. Maybe many “somethings.”

We may crave the “certainty” of the so-called experts because it gives us some assurance that there’s an answer or solution to our problem but it’s a short-term fix because the “expert” doesn’t live with us and work with us to apply their approach to our specific situation. (I fall into this trap all the time. My idealism about “great leadership” leads me to write and speak from a bully pulpit when a more personal and transparent approach would likely have more impact. You don’t need m to tell you what great leadership is, you “need” me to demonstrate how I struggle personally to live up to the standards of great leadership that I believe in. And that’s where I sometimes fall flat: I don’t want to expose my impatience, my distracted “listening,” my need to be right, my crappy efforts at “mindfulness” or the myriad other things I preach but don’t practice as well as I could.) This is why coaching is such a great investment. A good coach is a thoughtful person invested in learning with you, not telling you what to do. What makes them good is that they know that they don’t have it all figured out but are willing to be in the conversation anyway.

So, when I say “You Should Read This” I am, in Penelope Trunk’s language, being preachy, arrogant and annoying.

And, because I’m right about this, just read it.

4 thoughts on “You Should Read This

  1. Hey David… as always, great stuff. The “practice what you preach piece” reminded me about something my dad said when confessing that he didn’t always practice what he preached each Sunday from the pulpit. “If I only preached what I was able to practice they wouldn’t be very inspiring sermons.”

    Best Always,

    Doug Walker
    Manager, HR Services, Service Operations

    Note: New Address and Phone/Fax

    3570 Carmel Mountain Rd.|Suite 180|San Diego, CA|92130
    OFFICE: 858-523-7840 | Mobile: 858-860-4012 | FAX: 858-523-7890

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