Leadership and Vulnerability
This week as we settle in and embrace 2019, I have completed my annual office cleaning, organizing and planning. Looking at some of the archives always puts me in a happy mood enjoying the past and knowing it just keeps getting better. I came across stats for the Building Circles blog and wanted to share the most popular one with you. (If you read it before, go to the last two paragraphs). 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.
Why do many feel they have 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 people like us. Yes, we strive for perfection while at the same time we are open to being vulnerable – the balance.
After one of my presentations which included some personal stories, one gentleman approached me to ask why there was such an admission of a 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 cry”. He seemed to have a real problem with me being honest and sharing this with the audience. It’s the only policy I know!
In 2019, I have met with several start-up entrepreneurs to listen to their stories and to listen to established entrepreneurs deal 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 mentor and coach them. “This is what makes the difference.” They know it is OK to be open and honest. The best part is they embrace the guidance and update me on their ‘homework”.
I always smile when they provide feedback on what they learned, what they executed and where they were challenged. I am proud of them for being vulnerable. Continuously raising the bar and striving for excellence while being vulnerable are what makes you a better leader.