We don’t remember the days of our lives . . . we remember the moments. One of the leaders I’ve watched experience transformational growth just described his experience as; “One of the single most significant moments in my life.”

Transformational moments can’t be predicted or manufactured. They happen suddenly and unexpectedly. While we can’t guarantee when they will happen, we can almost guarantee when they won’t happen. I’ve never had a marker moment when I was merely watching TV or washing my car.

The moments that have shaped me the most have all happened in conversation.Not the casual sort, but the courageous kind that springs from the soil of mutual trust. In her bestselling books, Brene Brown repeatedly talks about courage as a “heart” word. She reminds us that the root of the word courage is cor ― the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant, “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

I just had another conversation like that. God has graced me with dozens of quality connections with leaders around the country ― virtually all of them are men younger than I. No surprise there, right? What surprises some is that one of the men I enjoy a head and heart connection with happens to be my successor. In the opinion of some that’s not only unlikely, that’s impossible. Some think that leaders in transition (the one going out and the one coming in) are competitors, not allies. After three years the jury is no longer out on the health of our relationship. It’s strong and that’s no accident. We both dare to speak our mind by telling all of our heart.

Courage isn’t neck up, it’s heart up. Until we are willing to be transparent and […]