When I began my career, I tended to avoid showing vulnerability.
In many ways, this is mainly due to a lack of confidence in my leadership. I have also found this characteristic is very common among male leaders in many cultures. However, as years go by, I have found by being willing to admit feeling stressed and overwhelmed at times, my team will actually open up about their own challenges in an unexpectedly human, authentic way.
From a personal perspective, some of my most impactful leadership moments have come from being open to my vulnerability - admitting some of my mistakes, lack of certain knowledge, and discussing some of my fears can in fact instill motivation and commitment with my team members. Rather than making you appear weak, this transparency can unlock productive discussions where problems surfaced earlier and better solutions emerge through collaboration.
The next time you hesitate to seek help due to perceived weakness, remember the benefits of vulnerability. When practiced with intent, it can foster and ignite creativity, empathy, and inspiration within your organization. While admitting to knowledge gaps, failures, concerns, and flaws, it is also important that you maintain a clear sense of purpose and direction. This will ultimately cultivate trust, unlock the capabilities of your team, and transform your leadership effectiveness.
Let your guard down thoughtfully and purposefully at the right moment - and watch how it will strengthen your organization from within.
“Men Don’t Cry” does not always work every time.