Building Strength with Vulnerability 

Do you keep up with your team members or friends? Be honest—do you know what they’re up to or what they’re interested in lately?

The pandemic has changed our workplace and pushed almost everyone into working from their homes. Socialising has been kept to a minimum as well. Are you taking the time to ask after the people important to you? Are you opening up your heart to be vulnerable with the people who matter? Take this as a challenge: how can you change to be a better leader, colleague or friend?

In this episode, Steve Bishop joins us to discuss how to lead with humanity, and a large part of this means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and honest. We can also apply these lessons to all of our relationships. Steve also shares his secret in facing fears and adversities and how constant reinvention can bring you to greater heights.

If you want to learn the value and application of vulnerability, this episode is for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand how you can become a strong leader who leads with vulnerability.
  2. Discover what to do when you experience self-doubt and fall into the trap of imposter syndrome?
  3. Learn how you can stay strong in the face of fears and adversities.


Episode Highlights

[03:17] Steve’s Proudest Moment

  • Steve’s first proudest moment is being a father to his two children. 
  • Steve is proud to see his children grow and develop into adults. 
  • Although they grew up separate from Steve, he makes sure that they know that they’re loved.

[05:26] Being Vulnerable in Relationships

  • Steve is from a military family. It was normal not to express emotions. 
  • Yet, he wanted to make sure his children could be vulnerable. He wanted them to feel and talk about emotions, even the painful ones. 
  • When you want to create a strong team, people need to know you as a person. 
  • Being a ‘person’ means being vulnerable, letting others know your weaknesses along with your strengths.  
  • Recognise what separates a bad leader from a good one, and learn to emulate the latter. 

[10:08] Steve’s Transition from the Military to Civilian Life

  • Steve’s second proudest moment was leaving the military. He admits that he was fearful of doing so.
  •  After 22 years of service, he had to learn how to fend for himself as a civilian. 
  • Although change isn’t easy, we need to adapt and overcome. Steve’s network helped him through the transition.
  • At 49, Steve got a Master’s degree in cybersecurity at Northumbria University. 

[15:07] On Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome

  • Steve’s drive to do the MSc was personal. He felt like he wasn’t good enough. 
  • He felt judged because of his lack of experience and credentials. The truth is, he was being judged not by others but by himself. 
  • We often mask insecurity with confidence. 
  • We need to stop thinking so much; instead, we need to listen to our hearts. 
  • Everyone can feel insecure; hear Steve’s personal story about this in the full episode.

[20:06] Being Honest with Yourself

  • Steve shares that he writes in a journal that asks him key questions about his daily life.
  • Practising mindfulness is his way of slowing down. 
  • As leaders, you need to change to maintain excellence, energy and integrity in your team. 
  • This role is very challenging. And so mindfulness is important, especially in understanding stress. 

[22:26] Steve’s Military Career

  • Steve was exposed to different sorts of conflicts during his time in the military. 
  • And so, Steve’s philosophy is that he wants to live the life that he wants to live. 
  • Define what a good day means to you and work hard to achieve that. 
  • Tune in to the full episode to get an idea of what a good day can look like in Steve’s terms. 

[25:34] Facing Fears and Adversities

  • Steve once again mentions leaving the military as something that caused fear. He left a safe environment and transitioned to civilian life. 
  • He worked at Rolls Royce for a while, and he still stays in touch with the people he worked with.
  •  Steve shares that after his first marriage, he jumped into a second one. Unfortunately, they weren’t compatible. 
  • Afterwards, Steve had to contend with his finances. His fears were paying off the bills, buying a house and setting money aside for his kids’ education. 
  • Listen to the full episode to know how Steve and his inspiring mindset got through these adversities. 

[30:23] Expect Constant Reinvention

  • Change is constant. We need to learn how to influence it for our benefit. 
  • This expectation of change should also extend to our personal lives and relationships. 
  • As you get older and more experienced, you’ll have more clarity in your decisions. 
  • Even with setbacks, challenges, and painful experiences, you can choose to adapt and move on. 

[32:09] Steve’s Love Life

  • Steve met Wendy at the Dubai Mall, watching a fountains water show.
  • He admits that his first marriage didn’t succeed because he wasn’t able to communicate well.
  • As he gets older, Steve shares that he has learned not to race towards one direction when encountering a junction. He hopes that by thinking things through, he can make the right decisions. 
  • Listen to the full episode to hear more about Steve’s reflections on life. 

[40:26] Steve’s Secret for Success

  • Steve shares that success can look different for everyone. 
  • For him, it’s living in the moment, as well as loving and being loved. 
  • Steve gives importance to allowing other people to voice what they have and to share their thoughts. 
  • For him, it’s the key to collaboration, community and the feeling of self-worth.
  • It’s also important to support people who feel that they don’t have a voice. 

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

[07:37] ‘It’s important that the team knows you as a person. That’s the way we build strength in our teams, isn’t it? It’s recognising your strengths, your weaknesses and talking about them and sharing them and making you a human being, a person.’

[18:50] ‘Your [head] is the muscle that does the doing and tells you how to do it. But your heart tells you what you really need to be doing.’

[23:36] ‘If nobody dies, that’s a good day. And you can translate that into if nobody stomps their feet, cries, resigns, or gets overexcited and angry, that’s a good day. And if you can help that good day, you’re doing a good job.’

[39:27] ‘You’ll say that, but vulnerability is not something that you know, even now I’m comfortable with…we’re all the same. We’re resilient people. And, you know, sometimes you got to crack the nut to get inside them to realise there’s something you can do to help them feel better about themselves.’

[41:13] ‘The respect to allow other people to voice they have, and to share their thoughts with you is key to that collaboration and that community, that feeling of self-worth and supporting others that may not feel that they have that voice, giving them the opportunity.’

About Steve Bishop

Steve Bishop is currently the Chief Information Security Officer of ATOS BPS, with experience ranging from small to medium enterprises, FTSE 50 and Public Security leadership roles. He has also previously worked with Rolls-Royce, the Supreme Group in Dubai and Afghanistan, and the Global Intelligence Group. He also served 22 years in the Royal Air Force. Through these experiences, Steve possesses first-class team leadership and problem-solving skills, outstanding levels of discipline, flexibility and discretion.

Steve holds a UK-enhanced Security Clearance and MSc in Cyber Security. He is also a certified Security Consultant and member of the International Institute of Security and BCS, CISA, CCP IA Auditor, PCBCM, ISO 27001 LI and LA.

Are you interested to know more about Steve’s work? You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Enjoy this Podcast?

Considering the remote nature of work today and how it can extend beyond the pandemic, it is crucial to maintain a strong team. In this episode, Steve equips and reminds you to lead with honesty and vulnerability. Listen to your people and let their voices be heard! If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Mindset Mentor Meets, then hit subscribe and share it with your friends!

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To meeting inspiration,