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How Does Vulnerability Factor Into Your Story?

9 Oct, 2019

How Does Vulnerability Factor Into Your Story?

Let’s talk about vulnerability. How does it factor into your story?

We’re frequently barraged with multimedia messaging that implies a person cannot achieve success without perfection or something very close to perfection. It seems this idea is deeply flawed. Our vulnerabilities, a.k.a. weaknesses are part of what differentiate each of us.

For professionals in leadership or highly visible roles, the pressure to be invincible can be even greater. As Dr. Brené Brown states “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”

I recall the case of a Fortune 100 executive I worked with recently to develop his resume and revamp his LinkedIn profile.

He told me how he had initially struggled in a highly visible role he’d been internally recruited for, and how he had to overcome his fear of asking for help. My client was embarrassed to admit he didn’t know everything he thought he should.

To think the need for help might tarnish his hard-earned reputation as an excellent leader with a strong command of business and technology troubled him deeply.

When he finally did reach out, he realized it felt good! His direct (and indirect) reports appreciated his willingness to ask for their input and they were glad to share their knowledge with him.

Being vulnerable immediately created a strong bond between him and his new team. This experience also added a new dimension to his value as a leader and what a great addition to my client’s career story!

Each of us is vulnerable in some way, and this exposure can be leveraged as an opportunity for growth, a path to forge new relationships and/or acquire new knowledge, especially in the workplace.

It’s a humbling reminder that nobody is infallible or invincible no matter what their role or status. And we can all learn from one another if we choose to do so.

What are you feeling vulnerable about and how can you add value to your story?

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