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Executive Women and Vulnerability

Vulnerability gets a nasty reputation

We often view vulnerability as a weakness, a flaw, or a hindrance to leadership and corporate success. We have been trained, especially as women, that vulnerability is something that we need to mask. Something we need to be ashamed of. We have been programed to believe that vulnerability and leadership cannot coincide.

We need to shift our thinking

During a hugely popular TEDTalk by Brene Brown, the importance of vulnerability was highlighted. This frank discussion of the power of vulnerability took the idea of vulnerability being a negative trait and made a good argument for why being vulnerable could be one of the greatest strengths an executive or leader could possess.

Our Strength Lies In Our Vulnerability

True managerial transformation and opportunity, Brown argues, comes with strength in vulnerability. While that might sound like an oxymoron, vulnerability can require a great deal of strength and confidence, especially in leaders or executives. Opening oneself up to suggestions, ideas, and even criticism (gasp!) can lead to a stronger team, higher order communication, and improved efficiency.

Take Advantage of the Upper Hand

Women, as it turns out, have a huge upper hand when it comes to vulnerability in managerial roles. While their male counterparts might be more prone to machismo or brash decisions in order to flex their leadership muscles, women are more easily able to put their ego aside and be open to other ways to accomplish goals and deadlines. This small step of showing vulnerability by acknowledging that a leader does not have all the answers can make a huge difference in the success of a team or company

Be Mindful of the Fine Line

There is, of course, a fine line between being vulnerable and being gullible. This is a line that must be toed carefully and intentionally, and the idea of being an open minded pal can quickly turn into a managerial nightmare. However, as a female executive, the ability to maintain an open demeanor while demanding respect is a highly sought after and envy worthy trait that all leaders strive to achieve.

Until then, Be Limitless and Discover Your Next.

What’s Your Next?

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