Vulnerability – the 21st century leadership booster

Around the world there are many theories of how a leader should behave.

Guru’s and master’s teaching leadership skills are offering opportunities to develop your skills as a stronger and more recognizable leader. A leader brave enough to lead every company thorough a change and influential enough to inspire followers, ready to go the way together with him/her. 

Strong presence, inspiring personality, braveness, readiness and ability to act, power booster, change sponsor are only few of the terms used to describe the successful leader. Many of the leadership programs focus on how to grow several personality areas to ensure that the leader will be followed in every initiative he/she starts.

Most of the trainers speak about soft skills, communication styles, creativity, energy level, emotional intelligence, ability to share with the group of followers etc.

But few of them challenge leader’s ego. The ego level is the factor that defines leadership.

Most trainers and in-house training programs teach how to be strong, but they don’t teach how to be weak as a leader.

The one thing that separates good form best leaders is their vulnerability.

People want to see all the fancy attributes and skills like inspiring communication skills, active listening skills, infectious energy, strong position defending follower’s behavior, but they also need to see a real human in front of them.

They need to see someone who is alive, who lives like the followers in fear, who is not a superhuman, but a person ready to share everything with them. In 21st century followers don’t seek for distanced behavior that is a characteristic of a chosen group, but for a behavior that is a s near as possible to theirs.

And the sign that the leader is someone not so different from the group of followers comes from the level of  vulnerability.

Vulnerability defines the level of emotional maturity of the leader. It is defined by the amount of information that one leader shares with the followers group. In a “social mirror world”, defined by companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Snap etc., where everyone can show emotions to the world, followers need to see that the leader is also a human being.  

Showing emotions, discussing personal fears, seeking for compassion and empathy is the way to win followers in the 21st century.

Showing vulnerability makes followers think about the leaders as someone from their group, someone close to their internal and external world. In a connected world where everything can be showed easy to a large auditorium, hiding emotions, fears and weaknesses doesn’t help. To be an accepted leader you should show others that first you are a human just like all of them.

Showing that you feel love, hate, anxiety, fear, frustration, joy, happiness, discomfort helps your followers to come closer to you. This internal palette can be filled with all spiritual conditions the leader experience.  But to get it right the leader must accept that there is more than the ego position. And if don’t the leader will soon understand that there is huge level of loneliness and sorrow on the top.

If the leader accepts the position of a vulnerable person, who does not hide information from other parties then there is a huge opportunity for him/her to become the engine for the change that the followers group needs to move ahead.

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2 thoughts on “Vulnerability – the 21st century leadership booster

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