Embracing Vulnerability

When I first started my dance studio, I thought that as the leader I had to know it all. I thought I was the one that had to have all the answers and give off the impression that I had it together at all times.

How wrong I was.

What I've learned about leadership in the dance studio is the strength and respect that comes from just being yourself; and I mean your crazy, weird, not-knowing-everything, unsure and, at times, really-scared self.

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Leadership isn’t just about your ability to make decisions and lead from the top. It's about being humble enough to ask for help when you need it.

Brave leadership is about understanding the areas in which you are really strong, the areas you need help, and the areas you need to upskill. I'm a great Ballet teacher, I smash a Musical Theatre class, but when it comes to tap, I'm mediocre. But that's ok, hiring people who are great tap teachers is not a threat to my ability, it's the sign of good leadership. Brave leadership is about being confident enough in your own self worth to hire people who are better than you without feeling threatened, and being willing to ask for people's input and allowing them to take the limelight when they come up with great ideas.

Building up your own skill set and making sure that you are building a better version of yourself every single day is important. Part of that is learning how to be vulnerable, and learning the importance of compassion and empathy in the workplace, not just for the customers that you're serving but for your team as well.You have to have those moments where the gloves come off, your guard comes down, and you say “this is hard”.

It is okay to say:

* I don't have the answer.

* I'm not sure what lies ahead but I'm here with you and we're going to work through it together.
* I'm not having a very good day today.

* I’m having a hard time making this decision.

Nothing has proved this more so than the global pandemic where we've all been put in situations as leaders where we haven't known what is going to happen tomorrow. I’ve tried to embrace my vulnerability during this time and stay true to how I’ve been feeling in the moment.

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Some days you absolutely have to put on a brave face, do the Facebook live, make the announcement, support your team, be in control and show leadership. And other days you need to be able to say to your team “I’m scared too, but these are the tools that we have, this is the information we have and this is how we're going to move forward”. And then follow that up by being willing to reach out to your team for their thoughts and their perspective to make some really great leadership decisions.

We won't always get it right and that's okay.

Part of that vulnerability is being able to admit when you're wrong, step up, have accountability for those moments and be able to say, “I made a mistake, I didn't do this very well, these are the things I will work to improve on”.

I encourage you, as a leader, to think about Brave leadership and how it can show up by you and your team in your dance studio. And if you enjoyed this post, I have other articles on The Value of Communication, Giving and Receiving Feedback, and Embracing Vulnerability on my blog at simplystaceymorgan.com. I encourage you to consider how you can bring these learnings into your dance studio to make yourself the best leader possible for your team.

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Stacey Morgan is a passionate entrepreneur and small business consultant from Australia. She is the Principal of Port Macquarie Performing Arts, a dance school on the mid north coast of NSW. She is also the Director of Morgan Media, a global podcast production company that focuses on Podcasts related to Small Business, the Arts and raising a family. Stacey is a sought-after Speaker, Facilitator and Business consultant offering online business consulting to small businesses around the world.

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