Leader Shame Ep #148

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Being a leader can be a tough gig. Especially if you feel like you don’t deserve to be in that position. But what is it that makes you think that you’re unworthy of the title? These feelings of unworthiness can manifest into thoughts like ‘If I were a better leader, my team member wouldn’t have left,’ or ‘If I knew how to talk to my team, then their sales numbers would be better.’ And those kinds of thoughts just aren’t serving you.

Being a leader can be a tough gig. Especially if you feel like you don’t deserve to be in that position. But what is it that makes you think that you’re unworthy of the title? These feelings of unworthiness can manifest into thoughts like ‘If I were a better leader, my team member wouldn’t have left,’ or ‘If I knew how to talk to my team, then their sales numbers would be better.’ And those kinds of thoughts just aren’t serving you.

That’s why Kristen is here to talk about leader shame and the effect it can have on not only your business and team but also in how you show up in your personal life.

Listen in as she goes over these key points:

  • What a leader IS NOT
  • Growing through your journey as a leader alongside your team
  • Definition of shame and how it affects your leadership
  • A strategy on how to move through leader shame
  • How removing judgment can and will make room for acceptance

You’re human. And like all humans, you’re going to make mistakes. Not all leaders are perfect, so there’s no reason to expect perfection from yourself. The next time you feel unworthy of being a leader – try looking through the lens of self-compassion and have kindness for yourself and the journey you’re on. 

You heard right! Kristen is hosting a FREE Rising Leader Webinar Friday, February 3rd at 11 AM MT. Register today, and we’ll see you there! Click here to register.

Are you looking for an online community where you can be inspired to be the best version of you in 2023? Look no further!  Join Kristen’s new Facebook Community, The Purposeful Social Selling Community, where you can connect with other like-minded social sellers looking to break the hustle cycle and find sustainable growth in the new year. Join for free by clicking here.

Thanks for listening! Do you have a question about network marketing? Kristen can help! Drop your question here, and she just might answer it live on the podcast: https:/Kristenboss.com/question

Connect with Kristen:

If you’re ready to learn the simple process of running your social selling business online, you have to check out Kristen’s live group coaching program! The Social Selling Academy: www.thesocialsellingacademy.com

Transcript for Episode #148 Leader Shame:

Kristen Boss (00:03):  You’re listening to the Kristen Boss Podcast. I’m your host, Kristen Boss. As a bestselling author and performance coach, I’m on a mission to share about sustainable and purposeful approaches to both business and life. Each week I bring relevant topics that I believe are necessary to create a life of purpose, significance and meaning. Entrepreneurship is about so much more than growing your bottom line. It’s about who you are becoming in the process and building a life that is truly extraordinary. Entrepreneurship is really just the beginning.

Kristen Boss (00:57):  Hey, bosses. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I’ve been talking a lot about leadership and I’m not done. I’ve got another episode packed with value for you in relation to leadership in your business. So before I even get into the content today, if you’ve been loving the show, if you’ve been loving the episodes and the content that I’ve been throwing down and you haven’t left a review, can I ask that you please go and leave a five star review? Of course, if you believe the show is five stars, and tell people what you think because it does help the podcast get discovered. I would be so thankful. All right. Another thing, this Friday is the Rising Leader webinar, a free training on leadership that you do not want to miss. It’s Friday at noon central time. The link is in the show notes. We have nearly 10,000 registrants coming to this free training.

Kristen Boss (01:47):  It’s so funny. We might even have more than that at this point. At the time of recording, we’re near 10,000. And it’s funny, my team, we just didn’t know how many to expect and we’re like, oh, we’re going to have to upgrade our Zoom account because I don’t know what Zoom can host 10,000 people, but we are so excited. I am so excited, and you’re going to want to be there live. I know you might be tempted to grab the replay, but here’s the reason why you want to get a babysitter, get a friend. Put your kids in front of Bluey, put them in front of a TV episode and hide in the closet for an hour of your time because I’m going to be dropping a huge announcement at the end of the webinar that you are not going to want to miss. That is time sensitive, meaning you come late to the game, you might regret it.

Kristen Boss (02:26):  So you’re going to want to be there. Don’t miss out. Get a watch party with your team, your friends. It’s going to facilitate amazing conversations. So be sure to be there. That’s this Friday noon central time. Okay, so let’s talk about the episode today. And I’m excited to talk about this episode. It might feel like a heavier topic, but I think it’s a conversation we need to have, and it’s something I’m noticing. You may have noticed, I’ve been talking a lot about shame, and if you don’t know this already or if you haven’t gathered this, one of my all-time heroes is Brene Brown. A dream of mine would be to have Brene Brown on this podcast. Heck, maybe we’ll just pitch her. I haven’t even pitched her yet. Maybe I should just go ahead and do that. But I am so thankful for the work she does in the world and how she shows up in how she talks about shame from such a compassionate way in a humanitarian way.

Kristen Boss (03:16):  And my therapist said this to me once, and I’m so thankful for how she said this because I think I was grappling with what is my role in the world. I feel like I’m more than a coach. I don’t feel like an influencer thought leader, but what is that? She’s like, what if you just really embodied being a humanitarian, somebody who deeply, deeply cares for people? And I’m like, man, that really resonates. So I love that so much. And so I’m like, yeah, this is me just leaning into being a humanitarian <laugh> 2023. So let’s talk about this idea of what I’m going to call leadership shame or leader shame. And it’s something I notice that a lot of leaders face or struggle with at some point in their business when they’re leading an organization, leading a team, or even I think shame prevents people from even starting to build a team because a lot of people think they are unworthy.

Kristen Boss (04:09):  They don’t identify as a leader. They think there’s no way I could possibly lead somebody. And it’s often because of this idea of what they have in their mind of what a leader is. And let me just debunk this myth for you right now. A leader is not somebody who is better than you. A leader is not somebody who’s figured it all out. A leader is not perfect. A leader is just somebody who’s willing to go first, who’s willing to do something imperfectly, who’s willing to teach people how to learn from their mistakes. A leader is somebody who’s willing to fall on their own sword, meaning take the blame, take responsibility. A leader is willing to, in Simon Sinek’s words, eat last. I’m willing to make sure everybody in this organization is cared for first. And if you’re a mom, you already know what leadership is.

Kristen Boss (04:59):  You make sure everybody else is fed before your fill up your plate. You make sure that your kids’ needs are met before you meet your own and not from a place of neglect. I think that’s really important that I’m not talking about this idea of putting yourself on the back burner and neglecting self-care, not taking care of yourself. That’s when we take it too far, when we believe that we are unworthy of having our own needs met. And we have this idea that, oh, my needs are met when I meet somebody else’s needs. But that’s like that becomes a cod, co-dependent caring scenario there. So this idea of leadership is not about perfection. It’s not about figuring it all out. It’s not about arriving. It’s certainly not about worthiness. It’s certainly not about deservedness, about none of those things. It’s about a desire to help.

Kristen Boss (05:48):  And I think of recently, I hadn’t watched it in such a long time, and I recently decided to rewatch the Lord of the Rings movies. And you guys, I, I just love storytelling so much. I love Marvel movies. I love, I took one of my mastermind students out for dinner and she had told me that she hadn’t watched Star Wars. And I was deeply offended. I’m like, who doesn’t watch Star Wars? And if you are listening to this and you have not listened to Star Wars, I’m sad. There’s a whole story that missing out on, but I digress. So this idea, I was rewatching the Lord of the Rings, and at the beginning there’s this old wise Wizard and all the way Al also, you don’t have to be old to be a leader but Gandolph has seen a thing or two. He has gone with Bilbo on Adventures.

Kristen Boss (06:38):  And essentially he meets Bilbo’s nephew Frodo. And Frodo comes into possession of this very dangerous, dark, magical object, the ring that could literally destroy the world as they know it. And Frodo’s like, I’ll take the ring, I’ll go on this crazy dark, scary adventure and I’ll be responsible to do this. And is essentially, he is like Frodo’s Guide. He is his leader. And he goes ahead of Frodo, Soroto sets out on his journey, and G Gandolph kind of goes to Gandolph is the name of the wizard. He kind of goes to prepare for Frodo. He kind of is always a couple moves ahead of him just helping prepare the way to make it easier. And he gives Freto words of warning like, Hey, Freto, make sure you stay off the road at night. And hey, don’t make sure you hold this close. Don’t let anybody know you have this ring.

Kristen Boss (07:31):  He’s just offering wisdom and companion companionship and off looking for ways, actively looking for ways to smooth the way for Frodo. And I really think that is leadership. It’s somebody who’s willing to just go first. Go ahead and think about, actively think about ways to smooth the road for those following you, for those who are on their own quest, because he didn’t take the ring from Frodo and say, oh, you’re this little person. Let me go and do it for you. He knew it was Frodo’s Quest. This is a lot. This is how I see my clients. They’re on their own quest. I cannot do the journey for them. I cannot take the ring and go on the journey without them, but I can go ahead of them. I can actively look for ways to smooth the road. I can look for ways to give them words of wisdom, to caution them from things that would make their journey longer or more painful.

Kristen Boss (08:27):  And then there are sometimes where as a leader, we have to let those we lead, learn. And when people learn, that also means we have to let them sometimes suffer and sometimes fail. And there was, I was thinking there was this kind of a dark spot when Frodo really thought Gandalf was gone. And if you haven’t listened to, if you haven’t watched the movies, maybe just skip ahead in this episode because don’t want to spoil it for you, but this is your spoiler alert, spoiler warning. But there was a season where Frodo really thought Gandalf was gone, and he had to rely on the tools and the wisdom that Gandalf had imparted to him. And eventually Gandalf kind of does come back on scene very briefly. And actually now that I think about it, Frodo see Gandalf until the very end. But the other members of the fellowship, they come, they get to see Gandalf again.

Kristen Boss (09:21):  And so this idea of sometimes we don’t get to partner with the people we lead all the way to the very end. There might be parts of the journey where we lead people. And so why am I saying all this in regards to leadership is I just want to give you an accurate picture of what a leader is. It’s not somebody that’s perfect. It’s not somebody that has it all together. In fact, he has his own journey. He has to overcome. One, his former mentor who turns out to be a bad dude, he’s like, oh, I thought Saruman was this wise person that I really looked up to. And boom, turns out he’s a traitor and they have this wizard battle. And Gandalf was probably like, what? I trusted you, dude. I had this happen in my own journey. Wow. I’m like reliving this. But there’s like, whoa, I trusted you.

Kristen Boss (10:10):  So Frodo is on his journey, Gandalf is also doing what he can to smooth the road. So if think of yourself as you’re Gandalf the upline, and then you have your downline or you’re the coach and then you have your client. And so you have your own growth journey while you are facilitating somebody else’s growth journey. And so Gandalf has to overcome his mentor who has become dark. He faces the balrog, which is this crazy fire monster in the dwarven minds. And you think he dies. And by the way, you will feel like you die in leadership. And in fact, he does die. He was Gandalf off the gray and he enters in this huge battle with this person. If you’re like, Kristen, I didn’t know I was going to be here for a fantasy story today. Neither did I Welcome to my ADHD brain.

Kristen Boss (10:54):  I was like, this is a story. I’ll tell it. It wasn’t in my script and I don’t script these podcast episodes, but hey, I’m here to entertain you and teach you and empower you. And here’s the story I’m giving you. So he faces this crazy underground fire monster, and he is essentially stands between harm and Frodo. And he does his famous line, you shall not pass. And he ends up falling in this huge ravine with this monster. And everybody in the party thinks, oh my gosh, our leader Gandalf the gray. He’s gone and the party has to continue on without him. And there are seasons where we feel like we continue on without our mentor holding our hands where it feels kind of dark and lonely. And you just see Frodo is just so distraught when that happens.

Kristen Boss (11:46):  So then you think just when you think all’s gone, Nope, Gandalf is battling this, the balrog or the balrog or whatever it is, I can’t say it properly. He’s battling the fire monster. You’re watching him fall through, it’s the core of the earth and they land into this alternate space. And he’s like, again, he conquers and in that journey and in this crazy epic battle between him and this fire thing, he transforms. He becomes Gandalf the white. And so it’s because of his own trial, literally through fire, he transforms into the next level of leadership. And you will have this too. As you are facilitating growth for your team and growth for others, you will have moments where it will feel very dark. There will be times where people can’t see you and they’ll be like, where’s our leader? It’s like it’s because you are so busy in the trenches of your own story, of your own growth to step into the next level of leadership.

Kristen Boss (12:42):  And every level of leadership will feel like facing the Bell Rock. It’ll feel like facing that fire monster and the death of who you once were to becoming the next version of yourself. So it’s this amazing story. And then at the end, the good guys win. So I want to give you, I say that because I want to give you an accurate portrayal of leadership and then it’s messy and then it’s not linear. And that while you are leading others, you’ll also have to lead yourself and in your own journey. And here’s where I notice what gets in the way of people having a powerful journey and being the leader, becoming the greater leader that they are maybe destined to be and capable of becoming is when this thing gets in the way, and it’s this thing called shame. When shame enters the picture and starts telling you stories, stories, I’m not a good leader.

Kristen Boss (13:38):  And shame almost always comes right after disappointment, right after heartache, right after someone you poured a lot of time into decides this isn’t for me. And they leave. And your immediate thought first this disappointment and sadness, maybe anger, but really what that’s covering is shame. Because the real thought you think now is they wouldn’t have left if I was a good leader. Maybe if I had better system, they wouldn’t leave. Maybe if I was better, maybe if I was more extroverted, maybe if I ask different questions. And you sit there kind of beating yourself up through all these scenarios and thinking, this is why I’m not good. And then shame starts to permeate. Or if the team isn’t performing and people haven’t ranked up in a long time where people aren’t seeing wins, a form of shame is when, oh, my team is struggling because I’m a bad leader, because I’m a bad leader.

Kristen Boss (14:31):  Nobody’s winning or because I didn’t teach them the right way. Nobody’s winning and shame doesn’t serve. We use it to feel bad, but it rarely ever becomes a driver for positive change. In fact, this, I’m going to be reading a couple things, the book Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown, my homie because she talks, obviously she’s an expert in shame, but there’s some nuances I want to bring to this conversation so that you can understand how to be with yourself when shame comes in the picture. And notice how I’m not saying so that you stop shaming yourself. I think shame is an extremely human response that we never grow out of. We never become somebody who never feels shame again. I think we learn to understand our shame, see the root of it, learn to be with it, and then decide what we’re going to do with it.

Kristen Boss (15:29):  But this idea of arriving and never dealing with shame again is pretty much going on a project to strip yourself of your human humanity. It’s just not possible. But if we can become somebody who moves to shame maybe less quickly and less automatically and becomes the observer of our shame and not just the feeler of it then we can truly start to become a more powerful leader. And so this idea of my team is struggling because of me. It’s taking responsibility of like, wow, okay, what might I do to help empower my team? But that is not what happens when you’re shaming yourself because a manifestation of shame is almost always hiding and shrinking and withdrawing and isolating like shame lives in isolation. This is why talking with people and being with people like it, it’s a great way to reduce shame and bring it out.

Kristen Boss (16:32):  You want shame to take a seat, take it out of silence brings, bring a voice to it. And so this idea of shaming yourself when you think, oh, this person left because I’m a bad leader, this person left because I’m not a good leader or I’m incapable or all those things. What happens is shame is not a positive driver. In fact, shame causes leaders to shrink. And this is when I see leaders, they stop recruiting, they stop having leadership conversations, they start hiding because everything feels like it starts to compound and everything starts to feel like evidence for, hey, see, here’s more evidence of why I’m not a good leader. And so I want to actually read the definition of shame because I think we say it a lot, but do you actually know what it is? And so this is from the book Atlas of the Heart.

Kristen Boss (17:25):  This is the definition. Shame is the intensely emotional and painful experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of long love, belonging, and connection. It’s the intensely painful experience where we believe that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and connection. So shame through the lens of when it comes to leadership is this intensely emotional painful experience, which I’m sure you understand. Maybe it’s that feeling. It’s an awful feeling believing that you’re not worthy of a team, that you’re not worthy to lead anybody that you don’t deserve anybody who listens to you, that you don’t deserve a sense of belonging on stage in your company or recognition, and therefore you are undeserving of leadership. Leadership has nothing to do with deservedness, but we think it does. When shame enters the conversation, we think it’s because somehow we are undeserving of being a leader.

Kristen Boss (18:28):  And it’s has nothing to do with that is leader is not about about willingness. Am I willing to go first? Am I willing to be misunderstood? Am I willing to engage in the hard conversations? Am I willing to evaluate myself? Leadership is about willingness, not worthiness. Write that down, put that down somewhere. And so what gets us out of this shame when we’re believing the reason why my team sucks is because I suck. The reason why my paycheck isn’t growing, because something’s wrong with me. The reason why those leaders left and went to another company is because it’s a me thing. It’s like it’s when we take the, it’s me, hi, I’m the problem with me. It’s me. It’s when we take that song to a disempowering place and disempowering place is believing that you are broken and that something is wrong with you. There’s different, there’s a difference between you being wrong as a human and you getting something wrong.

Kristen Boss (19:30):  As a human, I get things wrong as a human all the time. I’m always messing up, but I never believe I’m wrong as a human. I’m wrong. I’m just a wrong human. But there’s a difference between responsibility, taking responsibility and shaming ourselves. And the difference of that, what is the primary difference between those things is how do you move into responsibility and how do you move through shame? Because I think shame feels like mud trying to wade through mud. And if you ever saw the movie never ending story oh gosh, I can’t remember the kid’s name, but he has, he’s in the swamp with his horse, a tray, and he is like, the horse is stuck in the mud. And I feel like that’s shame. That is the accurate picture of shame in my mind. It feels so heavy and hard to move through. And the only way to get through shame is with self-compassion.

Kristen Boss (20:26):  It’s the idea of, I love this term, self-kindness. Like how good are you at practicing self-kindness? Or are you the ultimate person of self-condemnation, self ridicule, looking for evidence of why you’re the problem, why something is inherently wrong with you instead of maybe you just did something wrong. Those are two different things. You doing something wrong and you being wrong, very different. But it’s when we over-identify with our mistakes instead of, I made a mistake, a mistake, you are not a mistake, nothing about you as a mistake. And so this idea of embodying self-compassion, when we’re able to look at the incident through a lens of compassion and take responsibility of like, okay, it’s not because I’m a flawed human. It is or it’s not because I’m a messed up human. Yeah, we’re all flawed, Hey, hello, we’re all flawed. But it’s not because I’m broken, unworthy if that’s not the reason.

Kristen Boss (21:32):  And sometimes I have to say that of my academy students, I’m like, Hey, listen, if nothing is wrong with you, if we remove that from the equation of why this possible thing happened, then what do you think it might be? And suddenly when we’re removing shame from the equation, then we’re actually able to get curious. And we’re only able to be curious when we are compassionate, when we’re able to view ourselves through the lens of humanity saying, I’m a human. Of course I’m prone to making mistakes from time to time. But not if you believe that perfection is something to attain because it’s not. But that’s where we go in our shame is I have to be perfect in order to be worthy and you don’t. So we have to bring compassion to when we are observing our leadership and what’s happening in your organizations, what’s happening with your team, what’s happening with your customers, your clients, like removing judgment and accessing curiosity because then we can ask better quality questions. There’s this amazing concept where this idea of, so there’s right being kind to yourself, but then I came across this concept in Atlas of the Heart, and it is profound. It’s this concept of self security. Okay, you ready for the definition of self security? This is so good. It is the open and non-judgmental acceptance of one’s own weaknesses.

Kristen Boss (23:02):  Let me say that again. Self security is the open and non-judgmental acceptance of one’s own weaknesses, being able to view our weaknesses with compassion and interest. And as my therapist loves to say, we can sit in the inquiry of our weaknesses and say, I wonder why that is. We can sit in the evaluation and ask, okay, I’m curious as to why I do that. I’m curious as to what’s going on there. We don’t make ourselves wrong for our weaknesses. We understand that it is human to have weaknesses and because it is human and therefore it is not abnormal. Because listen, shame likes to tell you that you are the only one. Shame will. As soon as your voice says, I am the only one struggling with this, you have to know that is the voice of shame. And to struggle is human, which means struggling is normal, which means there’s nothing wrong with you. So we can take this shameful narrative, something’s wrong with me and be like, no, to struggle as human, to have weakness as human. And it’s learning to be with your weaknesses instead of judging them. And I wrote down here, I said, do you hold compassion for your weaknesses or do you hold yourself under rigid self condemnation?

Kristen Boss (24:19):  Which one do you do? Or there’s self condemnation and then there’s this, and we have to be so careful because we can very quickly and quietly move into a place of self-pity. And I said that kind of funny, this idea of self-pity and in Atlas of the Heart, I almost want to call it Atlas shrug, but I’m like, that’s a book in the Atlas of the Heart, there is this direct quote, pity is the enemy of compassion. What pity is the enemy of compassion because it means, it’s feeling sorry for myself because I am believing that I am in fact something’s wrong with me. I am in fact deeply flawed and unworthy, and therefore I pity myself. Pity is a disempowering emotion. It’s not looking at yourself with a lens of compassion. It’s looking yourself through a lens of believing there’s, you can’t be fixed.

Kristen Boss (25:20):  That’s why when we pity something is when we believe you can’t. We can’t be fixed. I feel sorry for you. I, I give people empathy. I don’t pity people because the moment I pity someone, I’m believing they’re powerless to change. And that is such a disempowering thought to have about somebody. And it’s my job as a coach to never pity my clients because once I pity them, I’m believing they’re powerless. And that’s a disempowering thought to have. And so once you pity yourself, then you are believing that you are powerless and therefore incapable of making positive change. In the book, it says, pity involves four elements, a belief that the suffering person is inferior, that you are less than. Again, remember, I am powerless to change. Something is deeply wrong with me. In comes the pity party, it’s passive, and it’s a self-focused reaction that does not include providing help.

Kristen Boss (26:18):  So when we are in self-pity, notice that it’s a self-focused reaction that doesn’t include providing help. So pitying, pitying someone, when I’m pitying someone else, I’m looking at them and saying, I’m not going to, I can’t provide you help. When we’re helping someone, not, we’re not providing help, we’re letting them kind of stay there. We feel sorry for them because we don’t believe they’re capable of getting help. We don’t believe that. And when we’re self-pitying, it’s believing. It’s not offering ourselves to look for solutions. We’re viewing ourselves as this powerless creature that can’t change. It’s looking at ourselves with a sense of hopelessness. And what’s interesting is the last part of pity, it says it involves four elements. A belief that the suffering person is inferior, a passive self-focused reaction that does not include providing help, a desire to maintain emotional distance. It’s like, I don’t want to enter into that pain with you.

Kristen Boss (27:16):  I don’t want to empathize with you. And this other idea of an avoidance of sharing in the other person’s suffering. And it’s really what if I were to boil this down with self-pity, it just means like the inability to hold space for oneself, meaning making an inquiry of yourself and doing a thoughtful reflection, asking yourself questions in a way that helps you look for a solution. When we are in that place of self-pity, we’re not doing those things. We’re not holding that space for ourselves. And in the coaching world, holding space essentially means I’m going to be with you in this conversation without an agenda, without waiting for you to stop talking just so I can insert my opinion, insert what you should do. And so it was interesting on that note, when I was in coach certification, I was a hair stylist for a long time, and I naturally holding space was something I learned because I had people sitting in my chair telling me the good, the bad, and the ugly all parts of their life for a very long time.

Kristen Boss (28:25):  So I learned to hold space. But when I was in the certification, there was a hairstylist there. And one of the things that she was constantly getting redirected on was that she kept, didn’t have an ability to hold space where she kept wanting to give her agenda to the person who was suffering like, yeah, but just do this. Yeah, but just do this. Yeah, but have you tried this? Oh, honey, don’t tell ’em this. And it’s like, that means we’ve, we’ve lost presence. We’re not able to be present with them. We just want to talk at them. And so I think when we can’t hold space for ourselves, that’s when we’re running away to distraction being like, yeah, yeah, I don’t want to hear those feelings. I don’t want to do that. What if I just eat instead or scroll or shop or drink or any of those other things because I don’t want to be with myself because I am incapable of sitting with myself in this compassionate, non-judgmental place where I’m in a place of self security, where I can be open and non-judgmental, accepting of my own weaknesses and asking myself, and if that’s true, what do I want to do about it?

Kristen Boss (29:30):  Because if you are asking, okay, I see that weakness. Now what do I want to do with it? Now we are working on solutions. Now we are actually working on becoming a better leader because we’re looking for principles and tools and things to help us grow. But again, when we are believing I’m a bad leader and shame is writing the story and we’re shrinking, we are not looking for solutions. We’re not looking for things that actually can make us good leaders. Pity always throws us into a place of disempowerment. Just like shame in compassion. Compassion is when we take an empowered position in viewing our own humanity through a deeply compassionate, loving lens.

Kristen Boss (30:16):  Think about that. What would it look like to take an empowered position in viewing your own humanity through a deeply compassionate lens? Understanding that, yeah, maybe you did get it wrong, but that doesn’t mean you suck as a human. That doesn’t mean you are unworthy. That doesn’t mean you are a bad human. That doesn’t mean you can’t become a good leader. Maybe you aren’t a good leader right now, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a good person. Maybe you suck at leadership right now, but that doesn’t mean that you suck as a human, but we tend to conflate the two. My thoughts about what I do are my thoughts about who I am. If I’m a bad leader, I’m a bad person. And that’s, that’s not the case. You have to learn to separate what you do from who you are. And so this concept of leadership shame, I thought it was an important conversation to have because I see so many leaders that will have growth, and then suddenly they’ll stop.

Kristen Boss (31:14):  They’ll shrink and they stop growing for years at a time, and then they feel worse because they’re like, they use their lack of growth as further evidence for why they’re a bad leader instead of, it’s not because you’re a bad leader. It’s the reason why you stopped growing is because you started hiding, and the reason you started hiding is because you believed that you weren’t a good leader and you were shaming yourself and you believed there was something inherently wrong with you, or that you were unworthy and undeserving of love, belonging, and connection. So the only way to move through shame is being compassionate. This idea of self security. I want you to sit with that today. I just think that’s just such a powerful phrase, self security. I’m going to have open and non-judgmental acceptance of my own weaknesses, and here’s what I’m going to offer you.

Kristen Boss (32:05):  It’s impossible to have self-security, which means having open non-judgmental acceptance of your own weakness. If you do not offer that for others, if you look at the world and you’re constantly holding people, holding people’s weaknesses against them, judging them for it, and not viewing their weaknesses through the lens of humanity, then it will be impossible for you to hold yourself in that light as well. If you can’t hold that for others, why would you do that for yourself? If you can’t look at others’ weaknesses through the lens of humanity, then of course you won’t be able to look at your weaknesses through the lens of humanity and you just being somebody who’s figuring it out in the world. So that’s a lot for you to chew on. That’s a lot for you to think about. Maybe you’re going to need to listen to this a couple times. I hope you take notes. I hope you share it with friend. Don’t forget to come to this Rising Leader webinar. I mean, this is just the tip of the iceberg friends, the things I’m going to be announcing this year, the things I’m going to be sharing, like it has been so hard for me to keep my mouth shut, but we are so close to announcing it. I can’t wait. We’ll see you at the webinar. I’ll catch you in the next episode.

Kristen Boss (33:20):  That’s a wrap for today’s episode. Listen, if you love what you heard here today, I would love for you to leave a real quick rating and a review. This helps the show get discovered by new people. Be sure to take a screenshot of today’s episode and shout us out on Instagram. We’ll shout you right back out. If you’d like to find additional resources or discover how to work with me, head to kristenboss.com.

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