Men or women, child or elder, educated or high school graduate. You would think that makes them happy and what they would strive for would be so different. I find it’s not so. They all look for engagement, love, trust.

The starting points of their story may be different—a job failure, loss of family, a wish unfulfilled—- but they unraveled because they had no one to share their experience with, no one who they trusted enough to reach out to for solace. No relationship with themselves to be their own reservoirs of kindness and understanding.

It’s the same in the corporate space where competition is constant, stakes are high. Projects go awry, in-team fighting, someone gets the big job, evaluations are unfair. Everyone tells you ‘you shouldn’t have shared the accolades‘, ‘you shouldn’t have helped your competition out’, ‘you should’ve been more autocratic with your leadership style’.

What do you do when the chips are down? Keep your cards close to the chest or become vulnerable and share your pain.

It seems counter-intuitive to ‘let it all hang out’, but that’s what real leaders do. Instead of the ‘know it all ‘ stance or ‘it’s someone else’s fault’, the ones who make it through show a vulnerability of imperfection and humanness that everyone can connect with.