The Value of Leading with Vulnerability

  • Published on:
    July 6, 2020
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes

Today the modern leader understands the value of creating strong cultures rooted in empathy. To create that strong culture you must be willing to demonstrate vulnerability to build trust with your organization. Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but strength today. It allows you to demonstrate you are human and do not have all the answers. People want to work for leaders who are genuine and can relate to their people. They want a leader that will be willing to admit when they need help and smart enough to know they have an incredible team that has strengths that will benefit the organization. Here are 5 reasons why leading with vulnerability is the right strategy.

  1. More Relatable – Be willing to let your team get to know you better. Share your successes but also be willing to share your disappointments and learnings. When you are willing to admit you do not always get it right and you learn from your mistakes, you will begin to create a culture that is not afraid of making mistakes but rather, learns from them.
  2. Build Trust – As a leader, we must be willing to say to people I am not sure what the right answer is here. Encouraging them to help you define what that answer or solution should be. This can be accomplished in numerous creative ways. Your people want to feel valued and inviting them to help define a solution is the ultimate demonstration of value and trust.
  3. Motivate Employees – When your employees find the leader more relatable, they will be more willing to trust you. Vulnerable leaders connect with their teams more effectively. With this connection, they motivate the team to bring their best to work. They now understand you will recognize their strengths and look for ways to allow them to add value.
  4. Inspire Creativity – When you are willing to be more vulnerable your team will look for ways to be a solution to a problem. Create opportunities for them to ideate and express their creativity. This could be solving a problem or defining new opportunities to explore as a business. Always make space to do both. 
  5. Deliver Success – When you leverage the strengths of your team and allow them to be a solution to a problem, empower them to deliver success while expressing your confidence and gratitude along the way. Your team will respond to that support and will be equally invested in the joint success. Make sure you encourage celebration during the high notes and reflection time when things did not go as planned.

Being a vulnerable leader is one of the catalysts to building a high performing team and culture in a modern world. 

Learn more about Lani Phillips: https://laniphillips.com/

Lani Phillips

Lani Phillips brings over 20 years’ experience in the technology industry as a technology executive. Lani currently serves as Vice President of Channel Sales at Microsoft Corporation. Her team supports our customers’ digital transformation efforts by accelerating co-selling partnerships with Microsoft partners representing a $30B business. She was recognized on the CRN 2020 Women in Channel list “Leading Fearlessly in a Time of Crisis” featuring the top women in the channel. 

Complementing her work in the technology industry, Lani founded the Women Executive Channel Advisory Board (WECAB) comprised of all female executives. They are focused on creating more opportunities for women in the workplace. She also serves on the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) D&I Advisory Board. Lani has a passion for inspiring, transforming, and growing leaders. She is currently writing her first leadership book and looks forward to adding “author” to her bio in 2021. 

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