Good Leaders: How would vulnerability help your leadership?

Jennifer Myster shared a powerful story explaining how perfect is the enemy of excellence.

Jennifer Myster shared a powerful story explaining how “perfect” is the enemy of excellence.

Jennifer Myster captivated the Good Leadership Breakfast audience with a rare and honest display of personal and professional vulnerability last Friday. As the president of Buffalo Hospital, her story came alive as she shared the idea that “perfect” is the opposite of excellence. “I wasn’t successful… until I started telling people, I need your help,” she confessed.

A Magnetic Presence

With raw emotion, Jennifer shared how raising three children, including a daughter with disabilities, going through a divorce, and taking the helm of a hospital caused her to change her Superhero leadership style. “I was getting feedback that people didn’t feel like I was approachable.” When she decided to share her personal struggles with her colleagues, “it changed everything. It made our culture at the hospital one where people care about each other.”

Jennifer and I discussed how raising a special needs child produces empathy that good leaders need.

Jennifer and I discussed how raising a special needs child produces the empathy that good leaders need.

Included in that culture shift was embracing strategies to improve personal and professional resilience. But that work was seriously challenged by the sudden deaths of two hospital physicians – one from a motorcycle accident, and one from a suicide in the hospital’s spiritual center. “It was a really dark time – we thought we had been supporting each other, and one of our own commits suicide. How did we miss that?”

So, Jennifer and her team started an intense program to reduce burnout and strengthen personal resilience. Together the team adopted positivity strategies developed at Duke University. Today, that work has become the Bounce Back Project, a nationally recognized program that works throughout the Buffalo community. “We have proven we can improve our happiness with easy exercises focusing on resilience.” She is a national thought leader on this subject, and it shows!

The winner of the Bucket of Good Will surprised my cohost Julie McDonough and Jennifer – it was the director of the Bounce Back Project!

The winner of the Bucket of Good Will surprised my cohost Julie McDonough and Jennifer – it was the director of the Bounce Back Project!

A Magic Moment

At every Good Leadership Breakfast, we practice generosity through a ritual we call the Bucket of Good Will: the audience is invited to put donations and a business card in the bucket, and we draw a lucky winner to direct the money raised to their favorite charity. On Friday morning, Jennifer drew a name from the bucket…and, in an incredible moment, the name was Corey Martin, director of the Bounce Back Project! To me, that can only be explained as a spark of fate that proves Goodness Pays.

Corey Martin directed $4626 to the Bounce Back Project from the Bucket of Good Will drawing last Friday.

Corey Martin directed $4626 to the Bounce Back Project from the Bucket of Good Will drawing last Friday.

A full house of good leaders contributed $4,626 to the Bounce Back Project, to help spread their message throughout Minnesota and the country. Check out the details of the program, and get involved!

Good leaders blend their personal and professional lives and aren’t afraid to say, “I need your help.” And they believe in the power of goodness and living generously.

Please share with me: how would vulnerability help your leadership?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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