Here’s the hard truth: the leaders who, up until now, have just paid lip service to their company’s values and culture are going to struggle through a crisis. In contrast, those who genuinely believe in and exemplify their organization’s values are much more prepared to manage these tough times. One of the silver linings of going through challenging times is that they give us perspective and the ability to understand what is important and what doesn’t matter. How to express vulnerability as a leader can be difficult to answer, so I hope to provide some guidance with this blog post.
It’s too easy to go down a rabbit hole of overwhelmed frustration, anger, and disappointment. What we have grown through over the last 18 months as a country is real and is permanent. We need to commit to growing through adversity, not just going through it.
Where is your focus right now? Are you looking at how bad things seem to be? Or are you looking at the growth opportunities? Are you weak because things affect you negatively? Or are you getting immersed in this struggle called life and getting 1% better every day?
Dig deep and reflect honestly on those questions. I want to help you develop as an elite-level leader, and part of the journey is pivoting your viewpoint, seeing the opportunities, and being brave enough to express your vulnerability.
If you get stuck reading all the negative garbage on social media, you miss the opportunity to connect with others authentically. Consider whether you’re part of the solution as a leader or whether you’re part of the problem. Don’t get caught up in the arguments; take time to post something positive, motivational, inspirational, or entertaining that makes us laugh. Be encouraged by your small victories, and don’t fall into the comparison gap and get discouraged because others seem to be moving faster than you.
It’s too easy to minimize your small victories, your small successes when what you need to be doing is embracing the heck out of those things.
Expressing Your Vulnerability
Your vision, mission, and values need to be more than words on the wall; they need to be something that you truly believe in and that you use to guide you in your decision-making. The company culture you construct will serve as a valuable road map for your business even when the landscape looks different in every industry. When you have a set of solid values for your company, those values will lead you through the tough times. As a leader, your job is to live to your company’s values and consistently demonstrate them. If you do that, your team will naturally follow your lead.
Think about whether you are doing the best you can with what you have to become the best leader you are capable of becoming. Are you doing the best you can mentally, physically, and emotionally so you can control how you act? Because your behavior will determine your level of success by impacting how you think and the mindset you are in.
Think of your vulnerability as one of the tools in your leadership toolbox. You have specific resources, skillset, and strengths, but you also have your particular circumstances to deal with. We need to realize that our circumstances do not define us but how we respond absolutely determines the path to success that we take to become the best we can be.
Vulnerability Help Build Relationships
Taking the time to build deeper relationships is one of the keys to success right now; vulnerability is so critical here. People want to talk, share, and know they’re not alone, so think about how you can help and who you can help on your team. It is not about having all the answers; it’s about listening and allowing others to work through their difficulties. As a coach, you support individuals to get to the answer themselves; at the core of it, you need to ask the right questions at the right time in the right way to facilitate their thought process.
Think about how supporting others shows up in your world right now and have the proper perspective, exude positivity, along with being realistic, understand what’s in front of you and communicate it to all your stakeholders.
Stay connected and be vulnerable and continue to build that trust with the people in your organization to make the most of every unique opportunity.
If you are wondering how to express vulnerability or develop your leadership skills further, check out some of my other blog posts, or tune in to The Athletics of Business podcast, where I discuss all aspects of leadership with a variety of inspiring leaders.