I was watching a guitar tutorial on YouTube a couple days ago. The instructor was really good, both as a player, and as a teacher. (By the way, he’s teaching one of the coolest songs you can play on acoustic guitar, ‘Never Going Back Again’ by Fleetwood Mac).

Towards the end of the tutorial, the instructor said, “And this is what I then find really hard about this piece.” That struck me as quite unusual for an expert to say. “This is what I find really hard.” In a weird sort of way, it made me have a lot more respect for him as an instructor because he was essentially saying “I’m not perfect.”

I’ve noticed that a lot of the time when leaders and experts show up to give a presentation, or share a story, they won’t talk about what they find hard. They’ll talk about what they’ve achieved. They’ll talk what they did to achieve it, or perhaps what they used to find hard, but now find easy. I wonder if there’s an expectation they put on themselves to be the hero of the story – the need to appear strong, fearless, flawless.

Thanks anyway, but we’re over that.

There’s something hugely powerful about sharing what you find hard now. I think it’s an incredibly attractive as a quality to have as a leader. It endears us to you, and makes you appear as human as the rest of us. We’re more willing to follow you and to work with you.

So next time you’re asked to share something of your story, think about what you could share that you find hard now. And watch what happens.

By the way, I’m finding it really hard to learn that song. 


Artwork: Untitled (Willing To Be Vulnerable), Lee Bul