The Importance of Vulnerability – A Sit Down with Todd Bavol – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #21

by placers on May 13, 2022 in Outside Insights



This next Outside Insights podcast is one that I am very excited for our community to listen and learn from. For this episode, I sat down with Todd Bavol, CEO of Integrity Staffing, a firm that has won Clearly Rated’s Best of Staffing Award for five consecutive years. I am proud to call Todd a friend.

Todd is someone who has quite literally pulled himself up by the bootstraps to achieve what he has today. He started out 30 years ago as a temporary staffing employee, developed skills as a recruiter for a small agency and eventually gave into the entrepreneurship bug and started his own staffing company­—and the rest was history. If only it was that easy, right? Like all entrepreneurs, Todd’s journey had its fair share of challenges that called on him to think bold, get creative and also develop a strong appreciation for vulnerability.

Throughout his journey, Todd has developed and refined key leadership lessons that we discussed during our call. While sitting down to speak with Todd for this episode, I couldn’t help but see the parallels between Todd’s leadership style and the Outside Insights mindset that we speak about frequently here. Typically, when we catch up, Todd and I discuss workforce trends and sometimes reminisce on our entrepreneurship journeys. Rarely, if ever, have we discussed the importance of vulnerability and carving out mindful minutes for yourself—turns out Todd also swears by the benefits of meditation for being your best self.

I’m excited for you to listen to this podcast for a number of reasons. A key reason being that the leadership lessons that Todd highlights perfectly complement the lessons I’ve been sharing through Outside Insights for years. In the podcast, we discuss:

1) The importance of vulnerability when leading others.

Vulnerability is often overlooked when it comes to developing high-performing teams, but it also happens to be one of the most important characteristics a team could have. A vulnerable leader is one that isn’t afraid to not have all the answers. They hire people they trust and then get out of the way. They’re upfront about their challenges but know how to keep morale high all the same. Which brings us to point #2…

2) Building an intentional culture built around trust and authenticity.

Authentic leaders know how to foster trust at all levels of the business. They’re confident and assured but know that their success is entirely dependent on the satisfaction of their teams. It is a leader’s job to establish their team’s culture—building one where individuals feel safe to be themselves, make honest mistakes and grow is key to making sure that culture is positive.

3) Why you should pick one new short-term goal and stick to it.

Leaders should always strive to be better than the day before. I’ve talked a lot about the concept of knowledge leadership and that comes into play here. A great leader is always reading through a new book with bold ideas, listening to podcasts, studying new leadership styles or even enlisting the help of a coach to help them bridge their gaps. No need to get overwhelmed, just take it one step at a time! It is most effective to pick a short-term goal that you can channel your energy into versus starting many projects all at once and never finishing.

4) Take time for yourself—and then take more time.

Here’s the thing— leaders are human! And humans need to hit pause. A burnt-out leader doesn’t do anyone any favors and you owe it to yourself and your team to show up every day as the best version of you. Find a balance in life and hold yourself accountable for maintaining that balance. Mindfulness exercises and meditation are helpful for Todd and I, but you can try out a number of things to find a unique balance that works for you. Start today—even if it’s just for five minutes.

5) Forgive yourself.

One of my personal favorite leadership lessons—give yourself grace. Being a great leader takes constant work and you’re not going to hit the nail on the head every day. That’s okay—it’s all about being vulnerable, right? What is important is that when your balance starts to slip or you notice you’re not as intentional as you were in the past, it’s time to hit pause and realign yourself. Forgive yourself when this happens and start again tomorrow.

Let me know what you think of the podcast and lessons within after giving it a listen.

Until next time, friends.

If you enjoyed this, I recommend listening to these past Outside Insights Podcast episodes:

Leadership Lessons: A Commitment to Culture- Outside Insights Podcast Episode #20
Sales Doesn’t Have to be a Dirty Word – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #19
2022: The Year of Trying Sh*t – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #18

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