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Vulnerability is a leadership skill
May 07, 2013
Your own vulnerability
In recent issues of this "Leader Newsletter" I have been talking about what it takes to build trust within the team you lead - within your direct reports.
There is just one missing piece - an extremely important piece - that I haven't mentioned yet.
This missing piece is your own vulnerability.
What do I mean by "vulnerability"?
The Oxford American Dictionary defines vulnerability as being susceptible to physical and/or emotional attack.
What does "being susceptible to physical and/or emotional attack" have to do with building trust?
Please allow me to explain.
There are two types of vulnerability: Reactive and Proactive.
Reactive vulnerability is when you become vulnerable without your own will - without your mindful choosing.
Reactive vulnerability is when you become an unaware potential victim.
Proactive vulnerability is when you become vulnerable by choice - when you take risks in a conscious and informed way.
But why would you choose to become vulnerable with your direct reports?
You choose to become vulnerable because of the possible REWARDS that you expect as a result of being vulnerable.
Within the team you lead - proactive vulnerability means choosing to expose your weaknesses as much as your strengths, your mistakes as much as your triumphs - and your shortcomings as much as your powerful qualities.
Within the team you lead - you choose to become vulnerable by rendering yourself truly naked (figuratively speaking of course) as you really are - as a human being - before all of your direct reports.
And when you are naked in front of your team - you feel vulnerable.
But you choose to become vulnerable in front of your direct reports because the rewards you are aiming for are huge.
The rewards you are aiming for are trust - and as a consequence of trust, a more open communication environment - and as a consequence of an open communication environment, better decision-making - and as a consequence of good decision-making, execution effectiveness - and ultimately - desired results.
When you combine your proactive vulnerability with your integrity and your humility - you appear as an authentic leader in the eyes of your direct reports.
Authenticity from you as the leader is one of the most solid foundations of trust.
Authenticity breeds trust.
Leadership - real leadership - without trust is impossible.
There is a direct relationship between your proactive vulnerability and the results you are aiming for.
Proactive vulnerability is a fundamental leadership skill.
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Most recent 12 "Leader Newsletter" issues:
Governance vs. Management
See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
May 7, 2013. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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