The Power of Vulnerability

Life is full of paradoxes and the power vulnerability is another one I believe. As I was about to write this post about vulnerability, my rss reader came across this post over at The Recovering Leader blog that says pretty much what I was thinking.

Monday’s LeaderTip: Power in Vulnerability
The greatest collaborations are based on shared vulnerability. Opening your mind and heart to others enables you to match your challenges and ambitions with theirs — and find the common ground needed to do great things together. Keep yourself guarded, and others will respond in kind — which hinders all but superficial success. Leadership requires the courage to make yourself vulnerable before others you want to inspire or guide, and anyone with whom you intend to create something of lasting value. When you act authentically with those who are – or may be – important to you, they will reciprocate, and be moved to do their best work.

One of the challenges to being vulnerable is continuing to be vulnerable and authentic after the first time being burned by someone. In my favorite leadership books, “Five Temptations of a CEO”, by Peter Lencioni, the fifth temptation a leader falls into is choosing invulnerability over trust. We strive so hard to stay in our “comfort zone,” but it is outside this zone that we see real growth. It is through the acknowledgement of our weaknesses and finding ways others can compliment you, and you compliment them, that we can find success and growth. Without being willing to step out of that “comfort zone” of being vulnerable comes “yes men” and disconnect because of the fear others might have of what they say and do.


5 comments so far

  1. denisek on

    What a great read, Billy! And a great blog. I have added it to my favorites and will be linking to some of your stuff. 🙂

  2. […] over at Organic Leadership takes it one step further with his post about The Power of Vulnerability. Having the guts to put ourselves out there, to be vulnerable, to take the risks that others cringe […]

  3. […] Smith presents The Power of Vulnerability « The Organic Leadership Blog posted at The Organic Leadership […]

  4. Idetrorce on

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  5. Guy Farmer on

    I really like this perspective Billy. As paradoxical as it sounds it is when leaders let themselves be vulnerable that they not only show others who they really are but also helps them understand themselves better. The process of building self-awareness is vital for leaders to grow and be able to encourage others to do the same.

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