The courage to be open and vulnerable makes it possible to connect effectively with others, especially in business. I learned this lesson while setting up a Certified Organic and Rainforest Alliance coffee venture in Papua New Guinea. My greatest teacher was a tribal chief dressed in a feather headdress named Stafford. He resonated truth and humility. Outwitting, outclassing, outsmarting didn’t work in this business arena. To drop all pretenses and demonstrate in gesture and conversation my respect was an act of vulnerability.
His simplicity helped to guide me to the next chapter of my life. I can impact others to find their truth by being vulnerable and coaching them to do the same. This act of emotional exposure takes courage. It requires one to let go of self-grandiosity and self-rejection and be impeccably honest in order to be authentic with yourself and others. This is where we make the greatest connection and create the best business environment, built on trust and respect.
I’ve written about my journey in my new memoir – Tau Bada: The Quest and Memoir of a Vulnerable Man, an inspirational story about living a vulnerable life. It is a first hand account of abandoning self-deception and fear in the quest to understand our true nature and live a more meaningful and authentic existence. It’s also a story about new love, jungle confrontations, cross-cultural relationships and a personal journey to establish lasting values. I hope you’ll check it out.
~ John E. Quinlan