Value to being vulnerable?


Probably one of the strongest leadership traits, and at the same time one of the most scary, is to be vulnerable. I have been mulling over this word for a few days now, knowing I wanted to write about it. Having been a very closed person all my life, I find being vulnerable terrifying. Opening myself up to anyone, let alone a group of people, requires exceptional trust in others. Or does it?
I am finding more and more that I have been living in fear, in a myth that allowing myself to be vulnerable is a weakness. Recently, probably over that last 4-5 years, I have truly begun to realize that being vulnerable is actually the best way for me to grow. In order to become the type of leader I envision, I would have to put trust in myself and my values and beliefs, and realize that if I am open, and vulnerable, I am more believable. This has been a truly eye-opening experience for me both professionally and personally.
Personally, I have been able to recognize my unhappiness, and see the distrust and coming disaster of a marriage and forthrightly put out there my feelings and what I wanted. It has definitely caused me a ton of stress, however, it has also been a freedom from my own chains. I have a weight off my back I have never known.
Part of being able to do something vulnerable personally, I had to realize how closed off I really was. It was not fair to my wife, my son or me. It was not fair to anyone who believed the charade we put on in order for there to be a belief we were living our dream. I finally decided that I could hide no more and that I had to become open to being truly hurt. And in the end? There is no hurt. There are issues to be dealt with, and emotional pain to suffer through; but ultimately, the freedom that I have now and will continue to have, is where my happiness will be. The freedom to be happy, to develop and try and love and suffer, to be me, is the ultimate prize of my shot at vulnerability.
Granted, I still find myself wanting to shut down at times, but, it is the knowledge that I can and will overcome my fear, that keeps the smile on my face.
Professionally, I am still slowly evolving through my vulnerability stage. It is not without its own set of obstacles, but I am finding that I am more positively working through them. It is evident that I am slowly going to not only change my own outlook on my leadership style, but to affect those I am hoping to lead. My character, my openness (vulnerability), my willingness to listen, care, and see perspectives outside my own, is what I am counting on. And it is what I want others to count on from me. I am a visionary and look to bigger picture things in everything I do, but I noticed that at times it closed me off to others. I am rethinking my purpose, my vision, my goals. I envision a place where communication is 360 degrees, transparency and accountability are evident, and we are able to all be vulnerable in order to grow.
Is there a value to being vulnerable? I say…no. You can’t put a price on something as effective and powerful as that. You just have to realize its strength, and harness it. Vulnerability, whether personally or professionally, is invaluable in making our lives, and the lives of those around us, amazing.

Posted in Leadership

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