Nov 14, 2018 | Your Relationships

Catherine A. Wood

Bridging Vulnerability and Leadership in Life

What’s the deal with vulnerability?

In our culture, it seems to be something we all shy away from in some way. Our leaders fail to take ownership or apologize for their end of things, and oftentimes it’s something that we all do in various areas of our lives:

  • In relationships, we tend to demand apologies or try to prove our rightness, thus making the other person wrong…

  • With friends, we try to push down hurt feelings and avoid honesty…

  • With family, we try to avoid confrontation and keep things within the status quo…

…all in service of what?

What’s so great about the way things are that has us NOT think they could be even better if we just practiced saying the authentic and vulnerable thing?

In my experience there are two types of leaders: the leaders who tell and expect others to act first, and the leaders who lead, which looks like modeling leadership.

Have you ever worked with a supervisor who takes responsibility for her whole team when something goes awry or some project doesn’t meet the criteria or expectation? Do you know how good it feels in that moment when someone takes responsibility without throwing you or anyone else under the bus?

To me, that is a total act of leadership: being willing to be vulnerable, to say sorry, to take full ownership, to take responsibility.

What I’ve noticed is that we’ve become so conditioned to “get it right” and be “perfect” human beings that, somewhere along the way, we forgot that our humanity is what brings us together rather than keeps us apart.

And in a society where we’re so used to driving for perfection and getting it right, we seem to have lost touch with some of our foundations, relationships being principal among them.

Relationship is based in truth and vulnerability…

…Being will to be the first one to say I’m sorry

…Being willing to acknowledge that you’d rather be happy than right

…Being willing to say and acknowledge your own experience and interpretation versus relating to it as the entire truth

…Being willing to voice that something hurt your feelings rather than jumping to conclusions and being reactionary

To me, that is true leadership—modeling vulnerability and authenticity.

So, in your life, what type of leader do you want to be? The kind who tells and expects others to act first, or a leader who leads?

What would be possible if you took total responsibility and ownership for the way that things go in all areas of your life?

I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below…

To leadership from heart,

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Reflections, Ahas and Lessons Learned on Hosting the First Unbounded Mastermind Retreat


At the time of recording this episode, I am just still landing from hosting our first ever Unbounded Mastermind retreat a couple of weekends ago. I wanted to record this episode to share what I’m still processing from the retreat, how it went, some of the lessons learned, and some of the highlights. In last week’s episode, we had Kerry Dobson on the show, and if you listened to that episode, you’ll remember that I shared with her that I was feeling vulnerable going into hosting this first ever in person retreat for the mastermind. I had a lot of expectations and hopes for how it would go and sometimes my own anticipation and pressure I put on myself can get in my way, so we workshopped my own blocks on our podcast episode together. It was so incredibly helpful, reassuring and affirming that I was on the right track. So I actually wanted to record this episode and give you the download and behind the scenes of how the retreat ended up going as well as some of my own takeaways as facilitator and some of my own personal insights that were reflected back to me. I know many in my community have shared their own dreams of wanting to host a retreat of their own, so I hope you’ll find this conversation helpful as you consider what to include in your own.

Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

The Prosperous Empath® Podcast is produced by Heart Centered Podcasting.

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