Why is Vulnerability a Strength in Leadership?
When one thinks about leadership and management, what comes to mind?
- Taking charge
- Leading a group of people, AND
- Being the face of a company or organization
But what comes to mind when thinking about vulnerability?
It might seem outlandish to equate vulnerability with leadership. However, vulnerability is what’s needed to make these characteristics of an effective leader work:
- Leaders can take charge, as a result of being vulnerable.
- Leaders can lead when people can see that they’re vulnerable just like them. AND,
- Leaders showing vulnerability to consumers builds trust and a relationship between the two.
So, what is vulnerability in leadership?
What is Vulnerability in Leadership?
“There are many definitions to vulnerability, depending on the person defining it,” says Laura Wise, a business blogger at Elite Assignment Help and Best British Essays. “While the common assumption of vulnerability is that a person is quote-en-quote ‘powerless,’ ‘defenseless,’ or ‘sensitive,’ in today’s world, that term has evolved. Nowadays, vulnerability takes into account the humanitarian part of being human.”
With that said, in the case of leadership, vulnerability can mean the following:
- Acknowledging and being prepared for uncertainty
- Being willing to take risks
- Being exposed to many emotions, AND
- The heart of meaningful human experience
Common Myths of Vulnerability in Leadership
Though, there are many myths surrounding vulnerability in leadership. Let’s explore each myth:
Vulnerability is a Weakness
While emotions can weigh on someone heavily, especially negative ones, leaders can take charge and accomplish tasks without succumbing to the weight by channeling these emotions to get things done.
Some People are Immune to Vulnerability
The truth is, everyone is subject to vulnerability in their lives. There’s no “perfect” moment in one’s life. This is especially true for leaders. There is never a “stone cold” leader. While avoiding or suppressing vulnerability is possible, you can never expunge it from the human experience.
Vulnerability has You Spill Your Guts
While people – including leaders – may feel embarrassed about being vulnerable by spilling secrets, at least you’re being honest about your emotions. In fact, it is often courageous to be vulnerable, even if you’re a leader. When people see a leader showing vulnerability in this sense – being authentic and truthful – they know that they can trust him or her.
Why is Vulnerability Important to Leadership?
“Vulnerability is essential to leadership, because people see you as a human, not a faceless entity,” says Gregory Summers, a business writer at Revieweal and UK Services Reviews. “Rather than seeing you as cold and emotionless, people see you as empathetic and authentic. As a result, social connection can flourish. On the same coin, leaders can take risks, sympathize with others’ plights, and take charge when uncertainty arises.”
Key Characteristics of a Vulnerable Leader
So, now that we know what vulnerability truly is, and why it’s important to leadership, what is a vulnerable leader?
In reality, a vulnerable leader can be many things. In fact, there are a plethora of characteristics that best define a vulnerable leader. Here are some of the characteristics in detail:
Vulnerable Leaders take Responsibility for their Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, including leaders. A true leader doesn’t hide from their mistakes, nor do they repeat mistakes. Instead, they look at the situation, admit their failures, and then work to make things right.
These Leaders see Vulnerability as a Strength, not a Weakness
Vulnerably leaders embrace humanity in order to do their job. That means they leave their ego at the door.
Vulnerable Leaders aren't Afraid to Share their Fears and Insecurities
Everyone has their own fears and insecurities – leaders are no exception. While misfortune and tragedy are prone to happen, leaders must learn to embrace their fears, in order to get things done. In this way, people can work together to tackle a crisis or adversity.
Vulnerable Leaders aren't Afraid to Ask for Help
Again, no one is perfect. Asking for help is something that everyone must do at a certain part in one’s life. And, when leaders ask for help, they can be grateful for the help. Therefore, it’s not a weakness to ask for help, since it’s a part of human nature.
Embrace Vulnerability in Your Leadership Style
Ultimately, being a leader is more than just “barking orders” or being the head of a company. Rather, leadership is about being vulnerable to your workforce, your consumers, and so on. In a world where there are negativity and toxicity, a leader has to be the opposite of those things.
With that said, vulnerability in leadership should be viewed as the following:
- Puts others first
- Social connection, AND
- A strength
Vulnerability is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, embrace vulnerability, for it allows you to be the best person that you can be. Rather than embrace the usual stereotypes of a “strong and powerful” leader, embrace the right ideology… which is vulnerability.
About the Author: Sara Sparrow is a writer and editor at Do my essay and Write my assignment. She is also a contributing writer for Lia Help. As a content writer, she writes articles about business trends, tech news, and coding.
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