You want to be more powerful and effective in all aspects of your life. Thus, hopefully you have taken the 1st 5 steps outlined in prior blogs in this series: developed and focusing on your core purpose, are being mindful of what you sow in terms of actions and thoughts, are drawing the larger circle, use invitation versus coercion and are balancing toughness and love in a coherent manner. Step 6 in Effectiveness 3.0 is developing the courage to be Vulnerable.
Yes, I wrote the “V” word. Vulnerability is a powerful force. In fact, Max DuPree, the highly effective former CEO of Herman Miller in his great little book, “Leadership Is An Art” claimed that the most effective leaders were “vulnerable to the strengths, talents and wild ideas” of others. Vulnerability in these terms means having the courage to be “open” to others, accessible and available to their input, insights and challenges.
What vulnerability does for you is to ensure that you are someone others feel they can approach and that you are open to what they have to say and what they perceive. This means that you are much less likely to be blindsided because you are in the flow of ongoing information and issues. People do not feel they have to hide things or “spin” things when they are around you. Being vulnerable means that you become a nexus point where people, ideas, information and creativity tends to cluster. This makes you far more powerfully effective in all aspects of what you do, whether at home or at work.
The Courage to Be Vulnerable means that you let people know that you need them, that you need their inputs, ideas, insights and concerns. Vulnerability means that you have the strength to ask for help, to admit you don’t know and that you can’t do it all by yourself. When you do these things, you empower those around you, whether it be family members or colleagues and team mates at work. Vulnerability is also very “inviting” of others to step in and step up. This facilitate team play and cross functional cooperation. It also promotes more rapid learning transfer and idea generation within and across groups.
Yet, keep in mind, that the courage to be vulnerable while closely wedded to inviting others to join with you, can be ineffective if you have not developed your “tough-love” quotient and abilities along with focusing consciously on what you sow. People who respect you because you treat others with dignity and respect and are willing to be both tough and loving, will respond very powerfully when you show you have the courage to be vulnerable.