Being Vulnerable Makes You A Better Leader

Being Vulnerable Makes You A Better Leader
Being Vulnerable Makes You A Better Leader

So, there's this idea floating around that to be a good leader, you've got to be this impenetrable fortress of strength and confidence. But, here comes Brené Brown, flipping that notion on its head.

If you haven't stumbled across her TED talk on being open to vulnerability, you're missing out. She's spent a good part of her career convincing us that it's okay to show that you're human, even, and especially, when you're in charge.

It's Cool to Be Kind (to Yourself and Others)

First off, being open about what scares us or where we feel we're not 100% can actually build trust. Imagine your boss admits they're wrestling with a decision or they're not sure of the next step. You'd feel more inclined to speak up yourself, right? It makes for a team where everyone's opinion counts and honesty is the norm.

Fail Forward

Here's the thing about innovation: it's all about trial and error. If leaders let their teams know it's okay to mess up in the quest for something new, imagine the cool ideas that could surface. It's about creating a space where everyone can throw their wild and wonderful thoughts into the ring, without fear of being shut down.

Be Real, Gain Respect

When bosses show their human side, admit their mistakes, and actively seek others' ideas, it doesn't make them look weak; it makes them relatable. People naturally want to follow someone who's real with them, who admits they don't have all the answers. It's kind of refreshing, actually.

Tough Times Call for Open Hearts

Vulnerability isn't just about sharing your fears; it's also about showing you can bounce back. Leaders who are open about their challenges, and how they're tackling them, teach their teams a valuable lesson in resilience. It's about showing that it's okay to fall, as long as you get back up, dust yourself off, and learn from it.

How to Be a Vulnerable Leader Without Feeling Exposed

Okay, so how do you start being this open, vulnerable leader without feeling like you're walking a tightrope without a net? It's not about oversharing or airing all your personal business at work. It's more about:

  • Knowing Yourself: Take some time for a bit of soul-searching. Understand what makes you tick, what scares you, and where you could use a hand.
  • Creating a Safe Space: Show your team it's okay to be themselves, share ideas, and yes, even fail. It starts with you being open first.
  • Chatting It Out: Keep the lines of communication wide open. Regular catch-ups where everyone can speak their mind can work wonders.
  • Leading by Example: Don't just talk the talk. Show your team it's okay to try new things and mess up. Share your own stories of when things didn't go as planned and what you learned.

Being a leader who's not afraid to show vulnerability isn't just nice; it's powerful. It's what builds trust, sparks creativity, and forges a team that's ready to face whatever comes their way together.

Brené Brown's got it right: embracing your vulnerabilities doesn't make you weak; it makes you a leader worth following. So, here's to being brave enough to be vulnerable and strong enough to lead with heart.

If you haven't already get a copy of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown; you won't regret it.


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