My guest in this episode of the podcast “Leadership is the Competitive Advantage” is a leadership coach and trainer Riikka Seppälä. She is an official facilitator of Brené Brown’s Dear to Lead program in a Finnish training company called Sitomo. It is a program focusing on developing courage-building skills as well as teaching leaders and teams how to move from armored leadership to daring leadership. As I am a big fan of Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability, it seemed so right to grab this opportunity to have a chat with Riikka. We will be touching upon concepts like courage, bravery, vulnerability, empathy, whole-heartedness, armor, shame and self-compassion within the context of leadership. (NB! The podcast was recorded before the lockdowns in Tallinn.)
“Here is a good example of what is the value of bravery and courageous cultures in the workplace. There was this drug company in Finland producing different kinds of medicine. They had very strict rules of conduct that all the personnel had to obey for obvious reasons. One day, when a lady working in the laboratory was doing her usual thing, mixing the ingredients for the medicine, she suddenly realized that one of her eyelashes had dropped into the tube where the ingredients were mixed. She was wearing make-up even though there were instructions that one should not use any make-up when working in the lab. The crucial point of the story is that she did not have courage to bring this to the attention of management. The lab continued to work as nothing had happened for many months and the product went to the market. Now, as it was tested by the authorities they recognized that there was something in the mix that was not supposed to be there. The foreign ingredient originated from the eye make-up the lady was wearing in the lab. The consequences were dire. They had to pull the whole product line off the shelf from the market. The cost of this inaction from the lady amounted to millions of euros. This is the price tag of having the courage to speak out when things are not the way they should be.” – Riikka Seppälä
Listen and enjoy!