Could A Little Vulnerability Be The Key To Better Leadership?

Brené Brown is the go-to vulnerability expert. Her books are bestsellers and with her latest offering, Dare To Lead, she turns her attention to the world of work. Vulnerability sometimes seems out of place when dropped into the work sphere but it really is powerful stuff. Vulnerability, as a resource in leadership and within the workplace, can impact the entire culture and creativity of a team. It can increase output, it can create a place for courage and is a strength that should be harnessed. Because of that, a whistlestop recap on Brené’s research with regards to the power of vulnerability in relation to the workplace is always helpful. Especially when it really might be the key to better leadership.

Brené defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. If you replaced vulnerability at the beginning of that sentence with the word leadership it would define that quite well too. That is one of Brené’s points, vulnerability and leadership go hand in hand. Both require us to take the risk of stepping forward and showing up in a forum that exposes us. When we’re vulnerable and when we lead there aren’t any guarantees that we will succeed. Risk and uncertainty are things leaders weather every day. Being vulnerable and leading while owning this vulnerable is brave work and you can’t be courageous without being vulnerable. Perhaps it’s fair to say that courage, vulnerability and leadership all go hand in hand in hand. If that’s the case then vulnerable leaders are by far the most courageous.

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