As we embrace 2022 with all its’ challenges, I have completed my annual office cleaning, organizing and planning for the short-term and for the long term. Looking at some of the archives always puts me in a happy mood enjoying the past and knowing it just keeps getting better. I am sharing one of my favourite Building Circles topics again with you! Enjoy and keep sending your feedback and comments.
Being Vulnerable Makes You A Better Leader
People prefer their leaders with an appropriate balance of confidence and humility. Yet, one of the greatest challenges many leaders struggle with is embracing (and revealing) their own vulnerabilities. This pandemic has truly tested leaders and we have all witnessed many vulnerable leaders in the last couple of years. The majority of people expect them to be perfect all the time!
Why do many feel leaders also feel they need to be perfect and never make any mistakes? There is a significant difference between striving for perfection and appearing to be perfect. Many cannot tell the difference and struggle with this concept. Yes, we strive for perfection while at the same time we are open to being vulnerable by making some mistakes – the balance. The key is what is done after a mistake is made.
Being Candid And Sharing
I would like to share a favourite story with you from several years ago. After one of my presentations which included some personal stories, one gentleman approached me to ask why there was such an admission of weakness? My response was open, honest and straightforward: “I am not embarrassed to admit sometimes you deal with all the pressure by going home and spending some alone time and yes even crying”. He seemed to have a real problem with me being honest and sharing this with the audience. My response was this is who leaders are: vulnerable.
This challenging time has no rules or big data we can draw from on what to do in today’s world. There have been similarities of other worldwide challenges and some of them may help. However, today’s leaders are blazing their own trail to keep their Teams on track, establishing and surpassing new goals, pivoting (more than once!), creating new ideas, new products, new companies and yes making some mistakes along the way.
Mentoring And Coaching
Over the years, I have met with start-up entrepreneurs, both first-time and veterans, to listen to their stories, how they want to make a difference, and how they are dealing with their challenges. I ask a lot of questions to understand. Sometimes, the meetings can get intense and emotional. When we reach this point of vulnerability, it allows me to truly mentor and coach them. “This is what makes the difference.” They know it is expected by me to be open and honest. The best part is they embrace the guidelines and update me on their ‘homework”.
Helping these entrepreneurs and leaders to be vulnerable will contribute to their journey to success. Many of us are helping others and if we can all reach out, be open and help each other, we will continue to make it better together.
Are You Being Vulnerable?
I always smile when others share what they learned, what they executed and where they were challenged. I am proud of them for also being vulnerable. Continuously raising the bar, striving for excellence while being vulnerable are keys to making a better leader.