Nov 14, 2018 | Your Relationships

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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Empathy for Change with Amy J. Wilson

I am so delighted and thrilled to have my esteemed friend, Amy J. Wilson here with us today. Amy is a change leader, community builder, movement maker, and an empathy advocate. She is the author of Empathy for Change: How to Build a More Understanding World, a guide to create positive, compassionate change where we work, live, and play. All of this guides our conversation as we cover the different types of empathy and why they are important, dismantling current power structures and rebuilding them with empathy at the core, prioritizing rest, and so much more. Being empathetic does not mean you lack power, and this episode is going to tell you why – enjoy!

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