Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vulnerability - A New Leadership Competency

I've been working for a long time. Well, actually, for a really long time, and most of that has been in leadership. Some of the "virtues" of leadership I learned early on were to never show weakness or be indecisive, because...

weakness = career over
indecisive = zero respect

I'm guessing that mindset is not unique to the healthcare industry.

However, I would suggest there is a different competency out there that is a far cry from the commonplace failings of weakness and the inability to make a decision.

- "open to criticism"

New Leaders
Once upon a time I was a new leader eager to climb the corporate health system ladder. I wanted to try new approaches, use new technologies, and take risks. For some reason I've always been enamored with risk!

...which doesn't make me sound like an HR guy...but whatever...

What I often ran into though was a large group of old-school leaders: bright, successful people who had no interest in doing anything differently, ever.

I quickly grew frustrated with what turned out to be my perception of these folks...what they considered their "strengths" I considered to be an "out of touch" view. What they thought of as "steady and consistent" I soon labeled as "stale."

Fast forward to I'm asking myself if the young leaders in the world of work look at you and me that way?

Are we out of touch and stale?

New Expectations
I'm convinced now more than ever that not only is effective leadership about staying current with industry trends, technology, and employee expectations as they shift and modulate over time. But also to show something else...

...our vulnerable side.

How many of us equate being vulnerable with weakness? 
How many of us see a direct link between loss of credibility and being vulnerable?
How many of us are obsessed with maintaining our perceived power as leaders?

Consider the impact of being real and showing our human side to the employees in our organizations. Do you think they will connect with us more? Might they see beyond our fancy job title and lofty position on the maze of boxes on the org chart?

Maybe, just maybe, they will believe in us and want to stay and be part of something special.

How About You

How do you show your human side at work? Perhaps embracing vulnerability, and leveraging it as a true leadership competency is the missing piece in your approach.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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