We’re snowed in and I’m eating a delicious waffle with real maple syrup. I’ve added some peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam on the side. Yum yum! Waffles are good because of what they don’t have. It’s the empty spaces that make them delightful.
Competency, what you can do, is one side of successful leadership. The other side is what you can’t do. Your empty spaces.
Embracing what you can’t do opens doors to effective delegation, aquiring new skills, and most importantly, trust. I trust people who know and acknowledge what they can’t do well. I don’t trust carpenters who think they can plumb and vice versa.
You can spot people who think they can do everything well. They think you should be omni-competent too. Those who can’t accept another’s inabilities haven’t accepted their own. Let’s take waffle lessons one step further.
Our empty spaces open doors of influence. Call me perverse, but I love people who struggle, fail, and can’t do everything well. I’m drawn to them and I’m open to learn from them. I think the others are phonies. I think the others are full of themselves rather than delicious syrup.
Leaders reach higher by embracing their empty spaces.