Why is vulnerability a key to executive leadership?

What do you imagine when you hear the word “vulnerability”?

It can conger up words such as powerless and defencelessness. But the synonyms of openness and receptiveness are equally important and relevant.

You may also be thinking why I am even talking about vulnerability as a leadership skill?

Well, we can’t possibly know all the answers to all the challenges that come our way as a leader.

And we shouldn’t know all the answers all the time.

To become disruptive leaders, that is, a leader that challenges the status quo, questions and is curious current ideas, responds quickly and drives accelerated results, vulnerability is the key.

Vulnerability is the ability to let go of your ego of always being right, and face the fear of not knowing and the possibility of failing. Yes, it takes courage to be vulnerable in front of your teams, your peers – in fact in any part of your life.

But this is where vulnerability is most powerful.

By facing your fear of not knowing, you have the ability to build trust and openness amongst your team. They see your behaviour as the benchmark of excellence..

You are giving your team permission to also be vulnerable – to also not know the answer.

Yes, being vulnerable and not knowing the answers is uncomfortable, but the most successful people surround themselves with people that do know the answers. They acknowledge each and every day that they don’t know. They make mistakes and fail every day. Yes, every day. They acknowledge their strengths and gaps and find the solutions to drive their success forward.

You then leverage each other’s strengths, building a more agile business, accelerating results and staying responsive to the market.

Culture change starts at the top.

Can you challenge yourself to be more open, let go of your fears, and be vulnerable with your teams? How does this then play out for you in all parts of your life?

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