Leaders Show Vulnerability
Note: Michael Reuter, a leadership thought leader and executive coach, served as Director of the Center for Leadership Development in the Department of Management at Seton Hall University from 2007-2020. He writes a weekly blog called “Three Minute Leadership” that is published every Sunday morning. I encourage you all to subscribe. With Mike’s permission, I am including here a recent blog post of his. If you have been reading this newsletter, you know I value the importance of vulnerability.
“Leo Christopher tells great leaders: “Vulnerability is the essence of connection, and connection is the essence of existence.” In his recent podcast interview on Player Networking Event (PNE), Quentin (Q) Williams speaks about the power of vulnerability, a magical and crucial cornerstone in connecting and relationships.
“Vulnerability, for many in society,” Williams says, “is considered a weakness… but it’s really a strength because you are relieving yourself of shame…. It takes a burden of shame off our shoulders. It’s simple. The way you allow yourself to be vulnerable is to just tell your story. Anything that will bring some humanness to you, it now connects you. And that’s the power of vulnerability. Vulnerability will change everything.”
When we open ourselves to others, they will begin to see the richness and gifts we have to offer. It opens to them the window of who we are, what we value and represent and how much we may be similar in our beliefs and values. It is a magical transparency that invites openness and sharing, peeling back others’ perception of us. The unexplained is now open to understanding because we revealed who we are.
Melissa Joyce writes: “This is the beautiful and terrifying thing about vulnerability. We must be willing to completely reveal layers of ourselves in order to reach an authentic, tangible connection with another soul.”
Brene Brown adds, “Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.“
Vulnerability takes great courage. Your openness becomes that beautiful, magical and magnetizing connecting link to all whom you meet and serve. You are human in all your magnificence.
Gary Burnison, CEO, Korn Ferry, writes, “Developing relationships with others—being human—compels us to be vulnerable and authentic,”
May you always remember Rumi’s gentle counsel, “Take off the mask. Your face is glorious.” Be vulnerable and enjoy an undreamed of journey of new connections and relationships. It is a magical key for you to change the world and the lives of those whom you touch and serve.”
Each week, when I send out this newsletter, I invite you to think carefully about your own leadership.
Do you perceive vulnerability as a weakness or a strength?
Are you comfortable showing your own vulnerability to your teammates?
If not, what would it take for you to consider changing your paradigm?
What can you teach your colleagues about vulnerability?
Leadership is about teaching and role modeling. That includes the subject of vulnerability.