Image: Flickr User amalaker
For some leaders, their personalities, fears, and mistakes prevent them from making the type of connection that generates fierce trust and loyalty — it prevents them from becoming vulnerable leaders.
Lesson 1: Vulnerable leadership is courageous.
Perhaps the biggest myth about vulnerable leadership is that it is somehow a weakness. When Brene Brown addressed Inc’s Leadership Forum, she referred to research that asked thousands of people about their most vulnerable moments. Answers included: “Starting my business; the first date after my divorce; taking my company public; owning something I’ve done wrong at work.” What Brene realized was that these were not instances of vulnerability nearly as much as instances of courage.
Lesson 2: Vulnerable leadership asks for help.
Asking for help is often viewed as a sign of weakness though the best leaders are rarely a jack-of-all-trades type. Instead, these leaders understand how to maximize the potential of their teams, often to account for one (or several) of their own weaknesses. Empowering other members of your team in an authentic way is a sign of strength for leaders.
Lesson 3: Vulnerable leadership knows boundaries.
In the words of Brene Brown, “Live tweeting your bikini wax is not vulnerability.” Instead, Brene challenges each leader to ask themself if they are sharing to gain attention or to solve a problem. Only share stories with those who have earned the right to hear them.
What other traits do you believe vulnerable leaders exhibit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.