Vulnerability in Leadership: The Underrated Power Move

Vulnerability in Leadership: The Underrated Power Move

“Vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment. It’s the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for.” – Brené Brown.

You’ve heard it all before: leaders need to be strong, decisive, and unyielding. But here’s a counter-argument you might not be expecting (and no, this isn’t just another millennial rant about feelings): great leaders need vulnerability. Before you raise an eyebrow, give this a read.

  1. Why Bother with Vulnerability?

In a world that’s constantly pushing the “hustle culture,” why would anyone in their right mind suggest that leaders expose their soft underbelly? Here’s why:

Trust Formation: People rally behind humans, not robots. By showing your true self (flaws and all), you cultivate a genuine bond with your team.

Sparks Creativity: An environment where it’s okay to admit not knowing everything? That’s where the magic happens. The fear of being wrong often squashes innovation. Remove that fear? Boom. Ideas galore.

Mental Health: Let’s get real. Pretending to be invincible 24/7 is exhausting. Embracing vulnerability can alleviate the pressure of unrealistic expectations.

  1. So, How to Be Vulnerably Daring?

It’s not about sobbing in board meetings (though a good cry never hurt anyone). Vulnerability in leadership is about striking a balance.

Admit Your Missteps (and yeah, we all have them): Made a blunder? Own it. Your team will respect a leader who acknowledges mistakes and works towards rectifying them. Pretending it never happened? That’s the quickest route to losing respect (and we have the employee exit interviews to prove it).

Ask for Feedback: And no, not just in those sugar-coated performance review sessions. Genuine feedback, even when it stings, is the gateway to growth.

Share Personal Stories: Talk about the times you struggled, doubted, or even downright failed. It reminds everyone you’ve been in the trenches and you understand the grind.

  1. The Vulnerability No-Nos

Being vulnerable doesn’t mean being a pushover. Here’s what NOT to do:

Oversharing: There’s a line between being open and overburdening your team with TMI. Find it.

Playing the Victim: Vulnerability is about authenticity, not soliciting pity. Leaders rise above challenges; they don’t wallow in them.

Ignoring Boundaries: Being vulnerable shouldn’t come at the expense of professional boundaries. A work relationship, at its core, should remain professional.

In a Nutshell

Leadership isn’t about putting on an invincible facade. True leadership? It’s about showing up, raw and real. It’s about embracing vulnerability as a strength (yes, you read that right), not a weakness. Remember, the best leaders aren’t those who project perfection. They’re the ones who demonstrate resilience, humanity, and yes, vulnerability. And that, dear reader, is a power move. So go on, be daringly vulnerable. Your team will thank you for it.