Vulnerability - the path to intimacy
Marina, manager for a restaurant chain in Yakima, Washington, told Session 2B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"In 2004 I was 19 years old. My friend, Mayra, and I were getting 'suited and booted' to go out to a club. It was our Sunday routine. Didn't matter if there was rain, snow, or hail – we would be present. At the time neither of us had a job, so we would drive Mayra's really old car. This car was so old that we had to carry a rock in the car everywhere we went to start the engine. Every trip was an adventure. When we made it to the dance club safe and sound, we let out a sigh of relief.
"We always had a great time. On this particular night, I met a really handsome guy. We danced several times and exchanged phone numbers. At the end of the night, he offered to walk me out to my car. I totally freaked out. I couldn't let him see the car we were driving. I saw a nice red truck close to the entrance, so my first idea was to tell him that was my car. The red truck was pretty close by so there was no need for him to walk me to it.
"Our old car started up right away. As we drove out of the parking lot, we realized our gas tank was almost empty, so we needed to stop and get gas. Of course we had to follow the rules and turn off the engine to fuel up. After pumping gas, the engine wouldn't turn over. We knew what to do since we had done it many times before. We grabbed the big rock we always carried with us and started hitting the battery. After hitting it several times, the car still would not start. We were so embarrassed
trying to figure out what to do. Suddenly there was another car pulling into the gas station. As we stood there helpless with the rock in our hands, I saw a guy walking toward us. To my big surprise, it was the same guy I had just met and exchanged numbers with at the dance club. The first words that came out of his mouth were, 'So what happened to your red truck?' boy, did I have egg on my face!"
What a wonderful story. The truth, the impeccable truth, is so powerful. As we continue to develop the confidence to simply tell the truth, we have a kind of strength, a kind of integrity that others are drawn to. In other words, people begin to follow us even when we make mistakes, even when we don't look perfect, even when our car won't start. Ego always wants to look good. As you give up the idea of perfection, exchange it for a commitment to progress and continuous improvement. As you practice vulnerability, you may be amazed at how attractive you become to all those that matter, that really count on your word.
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