Every leader wants to appear cool, confident and collected. That’s the mark of a good leader, right? Maybe not. Or at least, maybe not all the time. This article from Talent Economy suggests that vulnerability is an underrated quality in leadership. That’s right, the trait that most business leaders are actively trying to overcome could be exactly what they need.
The writer, Frank Kalman, points to a good place to start - stop being afraid to admit when you don’t know something. No one can be expected to know everything all the time. And being the first person to admit that you don’t know how something works or that you need clarification of an idea can show everyone in the room that it’s okay to ask questions, and it’s okay to not have all the answers. In fact, showing this vulnerability helps to develop trust among teams. By starting with yourself, you can begin to build a culture that values “answer seekers” over “know-it-alls."
But being upfront and open with vulnerability is an important leadership trait. Being able to admit and share times of weakness, even in a public setting, is a way for leaders to earn trust from those they lead. Showing weakness and not hiding from imperfection lets others know that you as a leader are human.