My husband Jim and I philosophize about life quite often.

We get into hours and hours of conversation around topics that I never quite prepare to discuss.

I deeply appreciate his wisdom and leadership and find his truths as insightful as if I was sitting at the top of a mountain listening to him as the fabled guru of centuries ago.

Only we’re sitting side-by-side on my mustard lived-in 14-year old living room couch.

Jim has a way of softening my edges like butter on a plate that’s been basking in a pool of sunlight.

When I’m feeling especially passionate about a subject, he asks me questions that have me lower my defenses and step into new possibilities.

I remember years ago seeing a sign that read, “Do not mistake softness for weakness.” – and thinking “…but I do…”

Today, I hold softness, gentleness, and vulnerability as virtues and am willing to dance in the discomfort of the moment.

Great leaders understand there are times to take up battle and fight for a cause.

To take up arms and challenge the status quo

And, then there are times to just be.

To listen.

To be present to what is being offered in the here and now.

It’s important to understand the difference and make the distinction moment-by-moment.

On my own leadership journey, being felt less valuable than doing so I was often in action during times when it would have been better for me to retreat.

This wreaked havoc on my insides and at times on my relationships, too.

I rather like the softer, gentler, and more vulnerable leader I am today.

While I am a vocal advocate for what I believe in, taking up arms and championing causes is tempered with a softer, more powerful feminine leadership style that I can fully rest in.

Fully… as in, all of me.

While I hadn’t realized it, the denial of the softer side of me was cutting off an armada of valuable strength, just as the yin and yang balance each other to be one.

To be a whole leader, you need to bring your whole self.


The Upside Challenge of the week is to look at what aspect of yourself may be underutilized or underappreciated because it doesn’t fit with your idea of what a leader isn’t or is.

See how that quality, style, or aspect could be useful. Experiment with bringing it into your life fully. Remember, small steps are valuable, too!

The world need you and your brilliance.

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