It’s not always easy to admit it when you’re wrong. And how many of us find it easy to ask for help? It’s even harder for a leader, with the full weight of expectation upon their shoulders, to hold up their hand and say they made a mistake or admit that they don’t have all the answers.
Here’s the thing, sharing that vulnerability and the acknowledgement that we’re not perfect, is a vital part of being a great leader. It means you have empathy; you recognize the importance of building connections with people and it generates trust. It also links to another vital aspect of leadership - it takes courage.
How come I can stand on a stage and ad-lib confidently to hundreds of people. But when I’m in front of my children’s school teacher, on one of those tiny little chairs, I’m a nervous and timid child. I even call her ‘Miss’ when I’m (almost) old enough to be her mother. Go figure.
We loved Marcel Schwantes’ article:
#redgiraffe #leadership #marcelschwantes #carolgrannis
The research is spot on. Vulnerability is about bringing your whole self to work. Admitting your flaws, having humility, sharing triumph as well as sadness. It’s what differentiates you and makes you an authentic leader.
So, yes, it’s important to be strong for others, to inspire confidence. And people may look to you for the answers. But letting people know that you sometimes didn’t even understand the question, is ok. It’ what makes you human (or a giraffe).
If you have time, make sure you listen to Brené Brown's pivotal 2010 Ted Talk. She’s fabulously honest about feeling vulnerable.