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How to be a vulnerable person can make you a stronger business leader


You don’t have to wear a single set of armor every day to inspire your workforce. Instead, point out your weaknesses and you’ll gain more trust and loyalty.

January 11, 2019

5 minutes of reading

Comments expressed by Businessmen the contributors are their own.


The following excerpt is the word book of The heroic factor: How great leaders transformed organizations and created a culture of victory. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound or Click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book as you use the code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

“Every entrepreneur is in that fetal condition when they leave their company too many times. One who can rise from there is a true leader, ”Jerry Henley, CEO of Rubicon Capital, told me when we spoke recently. But I will go one step further: Heroic leaders rise from that fetal position to lead and show them all. That is vulnerability: open to others. Corporate and heroic leaders find strength in it.

That vulnerability requires courage, because so many leaders have been conditioned to believe that vulnerability is synonymous with weakness. However, it does strengthen the relationships. I mean, how many truly strong business and life personal relationships can be built on hiding your flaws, bad news, or problems? How many people last when you hide a betrayal or a mistake? And how many mistakes have been forgiven because you showed your vulnerability?

Related: How To Achieve Leadership In 3 Steps (Not Easy)

Shea Sealy, president and founder of Advanced Building Care, a maintenance and cleaning company, calls this courage “meekness,” because it carries a spiritual sense that so many leaders. and organizations of faith that often forget: “Are we leaders and executives who are willing and able to regularly acknowledge the accomplishments of others, help them turn weaknesses into strengths, and instill confidence in others?” believe them? ”he said.“ How do we act or react when we are hurt by the wrongdoings of our employees, customers and / or competitors? Do we take action? and find Or we use those difficult experiences for both and the opportunity to teach ourselves and others? Jesus Christ displayed both his servants and his leadership traits throughout his earthly and spiritual ministry with meekness, ‘disciplined responses, strong self-restraint, and unwillingness use power for personal gain. ‘ I am completely convinced that it is more understanding and development of the meek attribute that will really transform our culture and ultimately create winning organizations. We will see a significant increase in the number of trust relationships found inside and outside our company, and we will be better prepared to deal with inevitable difficulties. in your organization. “

I like the idea of ​​the power to overcome adversity. Resilience is essential for great leaders and organizations, but you can’t show resilience if you don’t have the courage to be transparent about problems and mistakes in front of everyone. Catherine Monson, CEO of Fastsigns International, understands the link between courage and vulnerability and how it can prevent future problems: “That courage can be anything. From running to problem telling your team where you made a mistake, ”she said. “We have one biweekly committee meeting where all middle managers and executives meet, and even as CEO I need to gather courage to share my mistakes that I had before the group. But it has a big impact on everyone, it’s the courage to talk about a problem. It also leads to the courage to care when people have problems. Brave to say, ‘I don’t care what the problem is. We will still take care of this employee, whatever it may be. ”

Related: Daily schedule of 10 famous business billionaires

So how are you more vulnerable to strengthening your relationships? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t think you know everything, or stop pretending
  • Be ready to challenge and learn – let your team push you
  • Don’t take the difference as a challenge to your values
  • Be humble enough to admit flaws, not just failures
  • Collaborate and be willing to share credit and success

The last one is especially important. No one I know will succeed without others. Maybe those people exist. I’m sure they’re lonely, no matter where they are. I’m not. I love my team, and I want them to push themselves and motivate me. In some ways, I find this flaw easier as I get older. I’ve had more successes than failures, so I’m more confident in who I am. I also ask myself less questions than I used to, worrying if I am good enough or misinterpreting my decision. The further in my career, the more I trust myself in what we are doing and how we are doing. I also figured out what I wanted and didn’t want to do.

But that doesn’t mean I want it professionally for my team and my business. I want my team to have an entrepreneurial spirit – do and see what I don’t do to grow the business together. That’s why my team has a black ball. I need to be vulnerable enough to allow my team to have an impact – trust that they can see and feel the things I don’t do and still make the right appeal for my business, right away. even if that’s not what I want or will do. And that’s okay. Because I trust them.

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