The Relationship Between Strength & Vulnerability - Kay-Lambert Associates Limited

Kay-Lambert Associates Limited

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The Relationship Between Strength & Vulnerability

I spent a phenomenal day this week with very senior leaders who were in the process of forming a new Global Leadership Team. I was struck by their willingness to embrace personal disclosure. The stories they shared voluntarily with each other were poignant, powerful, resonant, and gave great insight to what makes them tick; what’s important to them; what they care about; what hurts them; and what their personal values are.

It got me thinking about the concept of Strength and Vulnerability in relation to Leadership.

laugh & crySome leaders give nothing away about themselves; it’s often hard to know what they are thinking or feeling; they feel it might be a weakness to let people see beneath the skin. Others, such as the colleagues I encountered this week, gained strength and personal credibility in the process of sharing aspects of their personal and emotional life, and being unafraid to let us see strong emotions.

It takes great strength and energy to withhold emotions, yet it seems to me that we are strengthened when we share them. The level of authenticity we display when we show what’s under the surface can greatly increase the respect we engender. And yet, some people regard this as a weakness.

In your experience, does the ability to show vulnerability and emotion increase or decrease the credibility and influence of the leader? Is it a sign of strength or a sign of weakness?

Please share your thoughts.

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