I was struck this morning by the announcement by Warren Gatland that he is done with coaching the Lions after the abuse he received on their recent tour of New Zealand.
Being a leader, we were reminded the other evening at the commissioning service for our local Growing Leaders' course, is something we all do when we influence those around us. The relationship between being a leader and being an influencer is actually more complex, not least because of the challenge of one person being the nominated leader (the man or woman at the front) and a person who leads by influence (who may be in tune with the nominated leader but equally may not), but there is an especial burden upon the one up at the front. The one at the front has the responsibility of the whole body of people (that does not necessarily mean that they do it well or properly).
I have found Brené Brown's work very stimulating, and this video clip is one of her best known TED talks. It is worth 20 minutes to watch it through and hear about the need for vulnerability and how it is vital for connection to people, and therefore leadership.
I recall a conversation on a training course about leadership many years ago. A colleague said the much-repeated dogma "as a Vicar, you have to learn to develop a thick skin". I baulked at this, although I wouldn't claim to understand why at the time. Why, as a Vicar, am I not allowed to be hurt if someone says something hurtful? There is nothing wrong with feeling hurt - the problem is what motivates us to react, and how we respond to the hurt.
So, well done Warren Gatland for naming and shaming the stuff thrown at him as a (presumably macho) Rugby coach and making yourself just a little bit vulnerable in the process.