Safe Space


Yesterday I posted about leadership development. You might also just call it “people development” because this stuff works for any breathing human, as far as I’m concerned. Here is another key that has proven highly effective for me…

Safety and vulnerability!

I’ve see one of my most fruitful strategies in leadership development over the years as creating trust-filled space. This one has taken me a longer time to cultivate because I have in the past run my mouth too much and talked to broadly to earn peoples trust. But as I have conquered that area of my life with God’s help, I have begun to earn peoples trust, and often very quickly.

Here’s what I have found: you be fake, and they will be fake. You act perfect, they will (try to) act perfect. Instead, I strive to be vulnerable, real and open with leaders I walk with. Contrary to counsel I have received for many years from other (normally older) leaders who tell you to stay guarded and careful about what you share with those you lead… I don't sign up for their philosophy.  I share my heart and don't hide my brokenness and the result has been deep relationships. Leaders end up sharing their real stuff with me. They share their sin, their fears, their past hurts and abuses and feel safe… And then my shepherding gift kicks in and I love to see these guys healed and released. Nothing holds a leader back from their destiny more than a broken heart that’s being ignored. And the only place that a broken heart can be operated on is in a SAFE PLACE. I feel my calling is toward shepherding hearts more than  sharpening skills.

Bottom line is…get real, be transparent, and you’ll be opening up the gates for others to the same. Far too many leaders (and Christians for that matter) waste far too much precious energy maintaining an image that isn’t helping themselves or anyone else. Image preservation is telling the world that you are insecure and and afraid, not wise and strategic.