Thoughts on Vulnerable Leadership

Leadership is difficult when you don’t know how to be vulnerable with the people you lead. #3 on this list by Forbes (11 Ways a Leader Can Develop Empathy) makes sense, but it falls short of telling leaders HOW to be more vulnerable in our western culture construct. We tend to award an image of authority and perfection while punishing those that show weakness or mistakes. If this is a common case, how can a leader of people feel safe being vulnerable if investors, board members, and those working for them hold them to an impossible and detrimental ideal?

  • Flat organizations do not make this lack-of-vulnerability problem go away.
  • Amazing benefits, unlimited vacation policies, and foot massages don’t make this lack-of-vulnerability problem go away.

The solution is….ha, it’s not that simple. It takes time and continual effort to lead and live with vulnerability. It’s often uncomfortable which is what drives people away from it. Read/watch Brené Brown’s work (Brave Leaders, Inc., The Power of Vulnerability), shut up and listen to others (The Secret to Being a Better: See and Hear Others), and seek out people / groups that want that same safe space to thrive and be themselves.

That’s it for now. Happy Thursday!


PS. I was going to say, “We tend to award loud talking a$$hats and punish those that show weakness.” but I changed it in order to make a more cultural reference and less of a personality dig. My weakness; wanting to say a$$hats and speaking from my lizard brain at times.

PPS. I want a foot massage now. Anyone want find a spot in ATL with me?

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