Shadow Leadership and Male Grief

Emotions drive us. They determine every choice we make in our lives, relationships, and businesses.

Without a soft and tender heart we oftentimes end up running just for the sake of running. We become inflexible, closed off to outside influence, and unavailable to the resources and support of the world around us.

True grief is a very messy process. The snotting and sobbing are not pretty and they are certainly not typically considered to be “powerful”. Many of us carry deep shame or fear around letting ourselves be seen as “weak”.

Outdated paradigms of leadership don’t allow for grief. They require the leader to be stoic and have everything together all the time.

But the leader who puts on the facade of “I have it all together all the time” is an untrustworthy one. A leaders’s shadow - the anxiety, anger, depression, etc. that are oftentimes coverups for grief - become woven into the fabric of their organization. 

Grief is an essential part of the human process and no person is exempt from its oftentimes painful and terrifying, yet deeply cleansing effect.

Grieving is the process of tending to our hearts. 

Giving ourselves over to the mess and letting our hearts soften and break gives us access to something deeper and greater. It gives us access to resources that previously appeared beyond us.

As leaders we are a stand for a more connected and empathetic world, we give permission for our own and others’ grief, and this is an integral part of our work in the Brotherhood Community.