Updated: May 13
There's are always opportunities to be selectively vulnerable. The right leaders know how to identify these and what the benefits are.
When we think of leaders of the past, we think of these stoic, strong presences who feel that they should never be questioned. But flexibility and understanding are becoming calling cards of the modern leader.
Simply put, we are all human beings. Knowing that the person in charge is just like the rest of us can help us to relate better. That sympathy for another person can give us the tools we need to push forward and improve the way we work.
Here are a few reasons why being vulnerable as a leader is becoming more important.
"But if a leader is not relatable, there is no inspiration to be had."
Being Vulnerable Drives Trust
People tend to trust in those who seem authentic. When employees do not trust their superiors, they tend not to stay at that job all that long. That trust, that “realness” can build a bond between leadership and employees.
Sometimes leadership can feel disconnected from “the common man.” Knowing they are going through the same kinds of issues the rest of us are can close the gap and make everyone seem more real and personable.
Building on that last point, being a great leader is not necessarily saying or doing the right thing at all times. It means giving the team someone to look up to and to inspire them. But if a leader is not relatable, there is no inspiration to be had.
Leaders who can show that they are human and have their own problems to deal with, more often become more relatable. Knowing both parties are really striving for the same thing can provide that inspiration.
Inspiring Continued Growth
Being vulnerable not only makes you seem more human and approachable, but it can also allow both sides to grow substantially. By being vulnerable, it allows us to be more open to solutions and options that might not have been used previously.
A leader who can admit that they do not have all the answers gives the team the chance to not only contribute but feel more valued as well.