Skip to main content
Simple. Life threw us all into a pool of vulnerability and forced us to experience things like never before. Our responses and reactions to global events of the past 18 months have varied but there’s no doubt that it has given us a chance to see ourselves in a new light.


“Who you are is how you lead.” Brené Brown

I remind people of this fact every time I facilitate a Dare to Lead™ program. We might have fooled ourselves into thinking we had separate work and home personas before but the pandemic proved it was a fallacy.
It only made sense for me to take a deeper look and reflect on who I am and the summer felt like a perfect time. I invite you to join me in this personal learning experience and explore the 10 Guideposts from The Gifts of Imperfection.

Key insight #1

Key insight #1 from this episode. A joyful life is attainable when we can appreciate simple moments and practice gratitude.
Were you able to connect to the simple things during the pandemic – having dinner together, cooking new dishes, having more game nights? All of it happening because we couldn’t be anywhere else but in our house with each other. There’s joy to be found in these simple moments. And the power of practicing gratitude in those moments will ensure that you fully embrace it. Gratitude breaks the kryptonite barrier, allowing us to stay in the joy. It prevents the panic and fear of “what if this gets take away from me”.
After listening to the podcast, I went back to the book and read more about this guidepost. I was reminded that we need to let go of scarcity and fear to truly cultivate gratitude and joy. That’s the roadblock…. when we say we need more time, more money, more sleep, more of this, more of that. Finding abundance in the past 18 months hasn’t been easy but this quote from The Gifts was a practical reminder at how it can be done.
“Addressing scarcity doesn’t mean searching for abundance but rather choosing a mindset of sufficiency. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.”

Key Insight #2

Key Insight #2 from this episode. True resilience means you’re being mindful of numbing behaviours and allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable and move through emotions.


“..people that are aware of the dangers of numbing have developed the ability to feel their way through high vulnerability experiences.”

The range of emotions we’ve experienced over the past months has been vast and intense. I don’t know anyone who was immune to numbing to get through life. My vice was food. I cooked, ate, baked and ate some more….(no sour dough bread though). The kitchen has traditionally not been a place I find solace in but that changed with COVID. Thankfully, I discovered the practice of journaling at the same time (thank you Stephanie!) and found a new way to process emotions. It allowed me to feel through the vulnerability and not get swallowed up by the numbing.
Digging into these two guideposts has uncovered something profound. I equate leadership with resiliency and even gratitude, but never have I put joy and leadership together in the same thought or even the same sentence.
Since the research shows that joy is the most vulnerable feeling we experience, what does that say about leadership? Do you put joy and leadership together? This discovery is enlightening. It has deepened my commitment to Reimagining Leadership.
We need more joy in leadership. Let’s find it. Talk about it and nurture it. Because who we are is how we lead.
Carolyn Swora
Carolyn Swora is a workplace culture architect who facilitates development in three core areas; Courage, Resilience and Belonging. Join Carolyn in a conversation via email, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Carolyn’s book, “Rules of Engagement”, is available on Amazon. You can also listen to PWE & ME, Carolyn’s Podcast.