Did it ever occur to you that vulnerability is a fundamental leadership skill?

The Oxford American Dictionary defines vulnerability as being susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.

How can vulnerability be a leadership skill then?

There are two types of vulnerability:

The first type of vulnerability is being vulnerable without will, without mindful choosing - vulnerability as an unaware potential victim. This is unconscious vulnerability.

The other type of vulnerability is being vulnerable by choice, because of the possible rewards that are expected as a result of such state. This type of vulnerability is conscious and informed risk-taking. This is proactive vulnerability.

However, proactive vulnerability by itself does not bring you too far.

But when you are the leader of your team - any team you lead - and you choose to expose your strengths as much as your weaknesses, your triumphs as much as your mistakes, your good qualities as much as your shortcomings, etc., - when you render yourself truly naked (figuratively speaking) as you really are before all of your direct reports, you become vulnerable.

And when you combine proactive vulnerability with integrity and humility, you become authentic.

When a leader is authentic with her direct reports, they trust her.

Authenticity from the leader is the most solid foundation of trust within a team - and as you probably already know, leadership without trust is impossible.

Remember: Vulnerability is a fundamental leadership skill.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to here from you - just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you would like future e-zines to be about - I'm listening.

Feel free to re-send this e-zine to your boss, to your employees, to your colleagues, etc.

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See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
February 2, 2010. Copyright: All rights reserved
Skills2Lead Ezine is published on the first Tuesday of every month

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