Personal Leadership Training
Aside Posted on Updated on
One of the most ignored yet most powerful leadership traits is vulnerability. It is also the rarest of all the leadership traits that we all get to see. However, vulnerability when practiced with sincerity magnifies the power and influence of a leader beyond the imagination of logical mind. So, what is vulnerability? Vulnerability brings a perception of humility in a leader. Vulnerable leaders are seen as approachable and more importantly they do not block themselves from the outside world but because of their vulnerability people are always expressing their views and ideas to such leaders, whether good or bad, positive or negative. This ensures that these leaders are in a state of awareness in coming to decisions as every time they are taking everyone’s views in mind. And this awareness allows them to keep their minds open and also ensures that they keep their ears to the ground.
“Vulnerability is the core of shame and struggle, and fear, and our struggle for worthiness. But it appears that it is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging and love.”
~ Dr. Brene Brown
Does this mean that lack of vulnerability will guarantee that you cannot become a powerful leader? Well of course no. There are few examples of leaders who were not vulnerable but they had their impact on this world. One good example is Steve Jobs. Hardly vulnerable but was able to produce an impact that very few can match in ages to come. Most of the dictators will also come under this category. They are scared to be seen as vulnerable. However, these leaders have never been loved by people. They cannot become people leaders. There is always a huge risk involved with never being vulnerable both to the people around you and to you.
Chances are that sometimes we can be wrong and if we are not listening to those around us, until we are perfect human beings, then we have stopped our own growth. Leadership is all about making the life of people good. These people could be the customers and clients we work for and also the people who we have at hand in our teams who work with us to deliver great product or service. Ideally to expect someone to do quality work without keeping them positively motivated is almost impossible.
What can I do to become a vulnerable leader?
First what-is-in-it for-you. This is what you can expect. Love and respect from people you work with or deal with. Every human being loves humility and when you show that you can be wrong and you accept it without bringing your big fat ego in between then you are in the right course.
Now, to answer the how-to-do-it part, it is very simple – every time you make a mistake, accept it and take the blame. If at times people are angry and throwing their emotions at you, you should discipline yourself to accept it humbly bowing down. If you are confused about what to do, instead of showing false confidence confide with your team and take their suggestions. It will mean that you will have to throw the mask on your face and be brave to show to the world the real you. You will be loved and respected for the character that you have and not for the slippery reputation that you showcase. This will also help you build strong and magical bond of trust and respect with people around you. You will make everyone so comfortable to that they will never like to leave your company. In the long run, your influence will reach beyond your imagination.
Is it easy to do exercise?
Initially it may not be, especially if you are not already used to acting vulnerable. However, the fruits of this are too sweet not to try being one. It will require first creating breakthrough by being vulnerable where it is relatively easier to be so and then slowly moving up, raising the stakes and making it a discipline to do so.
It will also help build a culture of honesty and trust within your teams.
Hope you like this
I would love you to suggest some examples of leaders (it could also be leaders at home – your mother, father, brother or managers or anyone you have known, heard or read about) who are vulnerable and you or people just love them.
Eager to hear from you.
- Spend 99% time on finding the problem – One of the biggest problems in feedback or mentoring is called I-know-the-problem syndrome. If you are a coach chances are very high that you suffer from this disease, if not all the time; definitely many a times. Here is what you should do, every time your feedback seems to be falling to deaf ears or not yielding desired results you must give it a thought, a serious thought, that this may be (and in almost all the cases it is right) a result of I-know-the-problem syndrome. Clear all other thoughts from your head and tell yourself that you don’t know the real problem and go ahead to find it out.
- Look for long-term solution – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This is what Maimonides wrote in 11th century. Well, he knew the truth long back; however, most of the coaches and mentors end up giving fishes than teaching how to fish; isn’t this alarming. The reasons for doing so could be many; e.g. lack of sufficient time, pressure etc. However, there are 2 reasons why you should always keep this in mind:
There is no other way to coach/teach. Any coach, mentor or leader who excels should never doubt this fact. Giving feedback is like selling and as we all know we cannot sell anything but the only thing we can do is tell the customer why it is important for them and how it will change their life and they will buy it.Giving one time solutions is time-taking and painful process and it is practically impossible to keep doing this for a longer period of time. Moreover, if you keep doing this, with passage of time your influence over people will sharply dip.
- Offer best incentive to your employee – While your immediate need is getting the job done, the same is true for the employees too. However, there is something more to it and you must not forget this. The real joy for any person is getting a direction in life and to see every day that they are marching towards their life goals. The keenness to learn will improve significantly if they see this happening. However, this is often ignored which makes people doubt your intentions. They start feeling that they are being pushed to do things that they don’t want to do. You have to show interest in your people’s life because that is what matters to them the most.