What? You mean I need to be vulnerable? If you want to be a great leader, you do. Some people in a position of leadership feel that they need to have it all together, or at least appear to. They feel that if they show any weakness, incompetency, or “crack” in the foundation they may lose their credibility and then no one would want to listen to them or certainly wouldn’t take any sort of direction from them. Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Where does this vulnerability start? Well, the answer is…with you. No matter what level you are at in your company. People have respect for people who tell the truth and don’t attempt to hide. In reality, at the deepest level, none of us wants to hide. We all want to be close. Yet our fear of being judged or ridiculed can be stifling. By taking the risk to be vulnerable and admit your shortcomings or struggles, you may find that the opposite is true…that people flock to you. It can be viewed as a source of power.
So how do you start? Begin by deciding you’re going to “shoot straight” with people about yourself. Own up to that speeding ticket you got on the way to work, or that you made a mistake on placing an order, or that how you talked to your assistant was not OK. Share with people that you need help in completing a project, or that you don’t have the answer to something. Imagine how your work place would be with everyone showing up this way. On too many works teams, people are simply trying to cover-up their mistakes, blaming others, and trying to look good…at all costs. This will never bring your company to the level of success and teamwork that is possible for you.
Even one person can make a difference. When you decide to show up different and come from a more honest, vulnerable place, you will be amazed at how others see you, respond to you, and follow you!