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Your Frailties Make You Beautiful

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We’re all drawn toward skillful competent individuals. Maybe they’ll teach us? Hopefully, they’ll rub off. But competency without frailty is uncomfortable, unapproachable, and unattractive.

The things that make competencies beautiful are the frailties that surround them. I was thinking of this during lunch with Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup. He has competencies built on frailties.

He’s a self-proclaimed introvert. He knows how to put his head down and get the job done; that’s not a frailty. Years ago, however, he lost his job and spent a year searching for a new position. It was then that he realized he was a pathetic networker.

Frailties helped an introverted; head’s down, get-the-job-done type of guy realized the need to connect, to network.

There are many reasons Doug Conant earned the CEO position at Campbell’s. One of them is networking. You can’t rise to positions of influence in isolation.

Yesterday, I received one of the thank-you notes that Doug is famous for. Over the last 10 years he’s written over 30,000.

Doug’s story is beautiful because of frailty. Without frailty the story lacks luster. With frailty, it’s an invitation.

Leaders spend too much time hiding frailties and parading strengths.

Finding the beauty:

All frailties with no competencies make us pathetic. Competencies without frailties, however, are uninteresting and unattractive. You’re beautiful when your strengths are sprinkled with frailties.


How can leaders maintain credibility and share frailties at the same time?


Personal note: I’m attending the World Business Forum today and tomorrow. I may post a couple extra posts over the next couple days. I love being here but I miss my wife. Love you babe!


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