Recently, I have been reflecting on the concept of vulnerability. Many people perceive being vulnerable as being weak. They believe that you should always appear strong so that you will not be taken advantage of.
The vulnerability I’d like to discuss is the type that allows you to be authentic and open so others can see the real you, vulnerability that makes a deeper kind of connection possible, creates intimacy, and, I believe, creates an access to growth. It allows you to look at the opportunity in the challenge. It makes learning about yourself possible and lets you see what you couldn’t see before.
This kind of vulnerability also creates an access to true leadership. Why? Because a true leader is someone who can enroll others in his/her ideas so they feel inspired and adopt those ideas.
For example, have you ever been at a conference where the speaker suddenly “gets real,” drops the written speech and speaks from the heart, saying what is really going on in their mind, or how they are feeling? If you did, I’m sure you remember how the audience suddenly stilled and how people got enthralled by what was being shared. The listening altered and enrollment was present. Emotion ran strong and applause reflected the enthusiasm they felt. These are the speeches that stay in your mind, the ones that make a difference. This is the way to inspire… be authentic, open and vulnerable so people can see the “true” you. That creates enrollment. It moves and inspires. And what could be more empowering than communication where you feel moved and inspired? True leadership creates that space!
I also know that every time I took the risk and allowed myself to be authentic and vulnerable, I got the best results, discovered more about myself, and felt more connected and empowered afterwards. Vulnerability, to me, is access to true leadership and growth, and that makes it well worth the perceived risk!