A friend of mine recently pointed out a mistake I made. I had been speaking about the upheaval our world is experiencing, encouraging those in leadership to listen more than speak. He gently – and correctly – pointed out that there’s a difference between listening because you’re interested, and listening because you’re too scared to speak.

It’s so easy to have FOSU: Fear of Screwing Up. But fear is rarely a good motivation in a crisis. It’s a brain hijack that makes us run away or freeze. Those reactions are the opposite of what we need right now.

As my friend said, our world needs people who are more concerned about the substantive issues at hand than about how they sound or look. That’s what people who are strong enough to be humble model for us. They know when to be present and when to be active. They ask themselves, “What does this situation need from me?” And they give it, regardless of what it may cost them in mistakes, apologies, or reputation.

You can do this. I can do this. We must do this.

Be bright

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