You can’t have great discoveries without getting lost. – Cory Booker
For leaders, vulnerability is vitally important. For me, it is something I have had to grow into and learn over time. For example, earlier in my career when I had to travel on a Sunday for work, it would be really hard for me to go to church by myself. It felt very vulnerable and even lonely. But the times that I went in spite of those feelings are invariably some of the best church experiences I have ever had. The message always seemed to resonate more. The music always seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear that day. And today, it has become less hard for me to do. Now I can sit in a church, a safe place, with a group of people I do not know and actually enjoy the feeling of being vulnerable and open. Plus, as an added bonus, I always seem to discover a great new restaurant for lunch after the service.
Throughout our leadership journeys, great leaders learn to simply embrace that sense of vulnerability. Otherwise, it is much easier to sit in your hotel room and watch the Sunday morning talk shows instead of stepping out and exploring a new place. Sometimes we just have to make the conscious decision to be vulnerable.
In my own vulnerability, I am also reminded to look around and be more attentive to when other people are in vulnerable situations. How can we lift them up? How can we make their experience better? Sometimes it takes nothing more than just a kind word or a genuine smile.
The truly amazing thing is that you could change your life or the life of someone else, simply by being open.
Question: Can you remember a time when you made a conscious effort to be vulnerable? How did you feel? More importantly, what did you learn?