I just finished leading the 2nd weekend of my six month Men’s Leadership Training. Holy shit was it outstanding!!!
I had my mentor David Cates come in and serve us all up around the theme of sexuality. I had about 12 men who assisted me in pulling this off, four were participants from last year’s training. Eight powerful women also came to help us work through some serious masculine feminine dynamics.
The weekend was the pinnacle of my career. It deepened the work I already do with men and opened new doors and possibilities for what is to come! I can hardly wait for next year and may have to do something this fall.
The men explored their edges, blasted through perceived obstacles, got closer as a tribe, and helped me drop my old masculine paradigm-leadership game.
There are two main lessons I learned about myself that I want to share. These are the benchmarks of the new masculine paradigm.
Lesson 1. Make Mistakes
Be willing to make mistakes. Fuck it up. Screw shit up and do it in front of others.
This one was major for me. David opened the door to making serious mistakes. He said something to the effect of “if you don’t learn to make mistakes now, you will never get anywhere.” He encouraged us to drop the masks, the games of pretending we have our shit together, the nonsense about being “on point,” perfect, or even accurate.
It was so releaving to hear this. I didn’t think I needed someone’s permission, but apparently I did. Just knowing it was okay to fuck it up and make mistakes in a safe environment, allowed all of us, staff and participants, to flourish and have even more fun.
And we made many mistakes. I personally lost my wallet for the entire weekend, lost it in front of everyone, left early one night, started late many times, and made many other mistakes, big and small.
How many places in life can we really let go, be ourselves, fuck up royally and still be accepted, welcomed, and loved, even more than we were before?
Lesson 2. Be Transparent and Congruent
The more I share myself, the more others trust me and the closer they feel to me.
As a therapist, I was trained to share very little about myself. Sharing too much of oneself in a therapist role can deter the healing and make for a strange relationship dynamic. While that makes sense in some therapeutic environments, it is less and less relevant to me.
Through Lesson 1, and help with three of my mentors, I decided to get really real and vulnerable in front of my staff and the participants throughout this past weekend. So real that, at one point, the participants held me while I sobbed. I owned up to many insecurities and fears as I looked around at 20 men in the room. I have no problem cyring in front of my family, my men’s circle, and other close friends. But this was edgy shit for me.
The leader-guy letting down his guard? Yup. I seriously thought I was digging my grave. The men were not only open to me opening up in the moment, but they kept saying, I feel closer to you and I trust you more now. WTF? That was a mind-fuck. While I know this to be true when my clients and friends share in this way with me, for some reason, I didn’t think it applied to me or something. Duh.
So, I took big risks and fucked many things up, many times. The result? I had the time of my life. It was the best facilitation experience I have ever had.
I had a profound shift in how I do work with men. As a way to bring in the new masculine paradigm, I will be leading with Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 from now on.
In order to help you experience more satisfaction, ease, light, and love in your life, I have to be willing to show you. That means, sharing my own shit while it’s happening, not after the fact. And, to be congruent—the same guy at home, at work, on my blog, and in the world.
And yes, I will be keeping some of my personal life private. I want to honor my wife and son’s privacy.
Here we go!