I recently heard a talk on the Japanese art of Kintsugi.  If you aren’t familiar with Kintsugi, it is taking a piece of broken pottery and mending it back together with a lacquer.  The lacquer is mixed with flakes of gold, silver or platinum as to accentuate the areas the pottery has been damaged.  This makes the cracks more visually fascinating, instead of trying to hide the places it has been cracked.  The idea is that the journey of how the pottery got to where it is now is just as gorgeous as it was whole.

This artistry reminded me of perspective and how important it can be in a leader.  When you are responsible for others, whether in your workplace or helping someone personally develop, you set the tone.  What I mean is people are watching how you succeed and fail.  Is this a part of yourself that you are vulnerable with?  If not, here is why it might be hurting you and those around you.

Let’s say you are scrolling through LinkedIn.  Post after post is people sharing their successes.  Awards, Speaking Engagements, New Careers, all of which are wonderful achievements.  How do you react internally?  Do you compare yourself with those of your peers?  Have you ever wondered how they got to where they are?  We have all been there.  It is how our society functions to measure success.

What you do not see on these posts is how many times they have failed before they got to where they are today.  Imagine how many no’s they have endured, the sleepless nights, the endless hours, the areas of life they have neglected and personal sacrifice.  It is easy to compare ourselves when we do not see the painful side of success.

As a leader, you can help those around you be more vulnerable by sharing your journey.  You did not end up where you are without some disappointment and struggles along the way, right?  What if you created a culture around you, where failing becomes a valuable piece in the progress and is part of the refinement in the end?

Kintsugi reminds us that there is a delicacy in the way we get to the place we are today.  The cracks are a part of how you become successful.  Do not be afraid to share your failures and successes with those around you.  Remember, we all fail, but sharing failures can give permission to those around you to step out of the box.  It might not be easy, but it can be exquisite in the end.  So, what would a piece of Kintsugi defining your pathway to success look like?

Amy Glazer, ACC is thrilled to be a part of the CoachNet Global team as a Trainer and Student Connection Lead. She lives in Seville, Ohio with her husband, Jon.  A 20+ year veteran of churches and non-profit organizations, Amy specializes her coaching practice by working with leaders who are focused on using their gifts to develop the people around them. Learn more about her coaching at www.goldenslothcoaching.com.

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