01/15/2023 Vulnerability of Leaders Matters

Sometimes…ya know certain “isms”…but then when you seen them in practice, in the real world, they shake you for how real & effective they are. 

We’ve been fortunate to lead MH programming w some of the largest groups in the US, & globally: Banks, Accounting Firms, Lab Corps, K-12s, Govt Agencies, Colleges, Police/Fire/Military Units, Pro Sports Teams/Leagues, etc. Here’s a key takeaway: it doesn’t matter how “good” we are on a given day/set of days or even over a yr of ongoing engagement…does not matter if we nail certain talking pts, facilitate flawless group sessions: if the LEADER of the group we’re working w is not 1) present, 2) engaged, & 3) willing to be vulnerable & talk abt their own struggles, our impact can only go so far. The greatest success we’ve had – has been when the leader (doesn’t matter the demo), knows this matters, & gets engaged.

Over all the diff types of sessions above, we’ve had dept heads show, but stay on their phones the whole time. We’ve had CEOs say they were too busy but the HR dept will lead it. We’ve had principals & supers say their deans will be able to “control the kids.”

Contrast that to this wk at St Xavier U., w their various NAIA sports teams. In particular, I want to talk abt “Coach Fem” Head Football Coach, who’s been leading the program for over 20yrs. He’s the guy circled on slide 2➡️, right in the thick of it.

We have been working w their football team for 3 sessions now over a yr. Thx to Nick Urso who played for Coach Fem in the ‘90s when he began w the school, there’s a great relationship there. In the 1st session in 2022, coach got up to talk abt what his wife goes thru…the therapy she’s been to…how they attack things as a fam. Fast fwd this last visit, he talked abt news that rocked his OWN world, that a former player (only upper 30s) has been diagnosed w brain cancer. How it’s affecting him.

Then look at the remaining slides. When do you see football players 18-22, willing to share their vulnerability face-to-face in groups, do breathing practices together? Last slide: coaches of baseball & softball also there leading change. Vulnerability of leaders matters.

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