He doesn’t share his best ideas, because if he did, someone else may use his knowledge – and then they’d get the credit or have ammunition to use against him. It’s safer, he reasons, to protect his brilliance or risk diminishing his credibility by saying nothing at all.
As well, he doesn’t acknowledge and applaud his peers, because if he does, they may somehow think that their work is more important than his efforts. Nor does he elevate his excitement, his enthusiasm for the initiatives led by his counterparts, for doing so (he thinks) would take resources from his priorities.
So he conserves his energy. He waits…convincing himself that he’s a good person, while rationalizing his belief that wisdom and inspiration are scarce commodities – and should be protected.
Day after day he holds back, going from one meeting to the next, skimming the surface of his soul, being just enough of himself to get a job done…a job that’s turned into a career of monotonous tasks.
What he doesn’t yet know is that he’s afraid of the wrong thing. It’s not his teammates or a competitor that threatens his fulfillment. It’s his thinking.
That’s when he meets you. Seemingly by chance in what appears to be just another meeting, he observes you demonstrate that there is an infinite amount of wisdom waiting for all of us to access it. He hears you contribute ideas and knowledge without conditions. His head tilts as he listens to you think out loud and offer your resources to support others in their endeavors.
And he notices how the others respond to your focus, how people become more energized and mobilize forward
He used to call you a fool for being so vulnerable, for giving away what you’ve worked so hard to gain. Then, sitting in his fatigue and self-doubting, a new thought emerges through the clouds of his insecurity: Perhaps I’m the fool. Maybe, he wonders, by not giving what I’m fully capable of delivering, it is I who am most vulnerable.
In this moment the tale of the insecure leader changes, as he begins to change the narrative of his reality. And you – you will have had a greater influence in the future of things than can ever be measured.