The first thing you see when you enter my apartment on the opposite wall is a bookcase with the artwork pictured in the shot above… and plants – I have a lot of plants. The artwork is Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” Speech and I am fortunate enough to have a fantastic mum who doubles as a fantastic artist and created the piece for me.
If you are not familiar with the words you can find the full paragraph below.
‘The credit belongs to man who is actually in the arena’. This powerful line and speech has always accompanied me throughout my leadership career, be it printed and pinned on my desk wall, screen saver or at the front of my notebook. It has always served as a great reminder to maintain and instil a growth mindset in my teams and myself and now in my awesome clients.
Last week in my email newsletter I mentioned that I read a lot of non-fiction. I like to cluster-read; that is, read a bunch of books on a similar topic or theme. I had a few responses suggesting that I publish my book list. Whilst I usually recommend books purely on what will benefit the individual, I do recommend one book many times to my clients. The book is ‘Daring Greatly – How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead’ by Brene Brown.
Brene attributed the inspiration behind the book to Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ Speech.
I am sharing this information with you for two reasons:
1. Since setting up Coach Kim, I have been searching for the common denominator in my clients. The unique characteristic in my current client base which will enable me to identify and target similar individuals. That common denominator is courage.
The courage to take control of their careers, the courage to seek help and support, the courage to look inwards, the courage to make changes, and the courage to be their true-self.
2. I recommend that you add the book to your list. It will force you to look inwards and to become more self-aware (the #1 factor for a happy and successful life and career). For example, the leaders that I coach are great leaders already. They exhibit the two key factors that I think make up a great leader. The two factors are curiosity and empathy. These have led them to coaching with a growth mindset and low ego. They are already pretty self-aware – their true self and their authentic self; all the magic is exploring their vulnerable self and perhaps that’s for a different article.
The English dictionary defines courage as ‘The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery’ whilst Brene describes courage as ‘Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
What career, performance and behaviour changes would you make if you were not afraid?
Go get em