How Vulnerable Are You?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Vulnerability, intimacy, caring, and emotional risk.

Mostly we’ve learned to avoid these at work. But, adopted with care, these become our power tools. They build trust which builds all great organizations and differentiates us in the marketplace.

You see, work is intensely personal, human. These tools help us navigate the important issues and emotions we encounter daily. Unless we “go there” with these tools, we run the risk of our businesses stalling due to politics, bureaucracy, lack of commitment, and useless drama.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: And if we want to navigate those important issues and emotions, we have to go first.

 

Today’s photo credit: thebarrowboy cc

vulnerable

Why Strong Leaders Must Ring the Vulnerable Bell

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Being vulnerable seems like being extremely exposed, weak, and rather stupid.

So from very early in life, we erect barricades to prevent being that threatened. We follow the crowds and become some version of the aloof, got-my-stuff-together, winning-at-life professional.

But the barricades have a nasty side effect. They shut out what every single one of us wants most: connection with others, happiness, freedom, and growth. The barricades give us a false sense of safety. And what seems like strength is only isolation.

From behind the barricades, we leaders may be able to determine, organize, decide, excite, incite, manage, and direct. But remember: all those people working with us also crave that connection, happiness, freedom, and growth. They can’t get any of that if we are behind the barricades. And the organization will sooner or later falter or fail. The best people will leave, the good people will struggle, and the lackluster ones will remain to preserve the status quo.

It turns out that vulnerability is a strength, especially for leaders like us. We can open up. We can allow ourselves to be wrong, faulty, hurt, foolish, or even goofy. We can do the really hard work of feeling, working through, and resolving the emotions, reactions, and assumptions we and others have. Left untouched, these fuel the discord, detachment, and politics in our companies. This really hard work creates connection, happiness, freedom and growth for us and everyone.

See why we as leaders need to go here, be this, and ring this bell?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Glenn Euloth cc

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Willingly Vulnerable

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

We know we need a strong inner game in order to sell, lead, and influence. When we think “strong,” we usually believe we must be on alert. Letting no one take advantage of us, dismiss us, threaten us, or criticize us, we get ready for the next call or meeting by raising shields. We seek invulnerability.

And what we become is closed.

Trying to be strong, we cut off a good portion of our basic abilities to relate. The bulk of our focus is on our fear of what bad might happen. We then miss subtle and obvious cues from within and from the other people. We become less creative, less nimble, and less likely to see the opportunities. We are more likely to fixate on one, usually suboptimal idea. And desired results become harder and harder to achieve.

Let’s open up instead. Let’s be willingly vulnerable. We choose to remain calm, confident, and present. Knowing that we can handle anything that might happen when/if it actually happens, we realize we have zero need to prepare our defenses. Thus open, we get back our creativity and ingenuity.

Others can tell we’ve opened up. Though it make take some time for them to trust what they see, they will eventually, happily follow our lead. And our sales, influence, and leadership will have more honesty, creative collaboration, and results.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: A strong, rigid pole snaps in the wind while the spindly, vulnerable willow bends without incident.

PPS: Careful not to confuse willingly vulnerable from plain old vulnerable. With the former, we open up because we know we are not really vulnerable at all. With the latter, we expose our underbelly even though we can feel it’s not safe. Avoid the latter, please.

Today’s photo credit: bichxa via photopin cc

To Relationship, Trust, Vulnerability and Back

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

The quality (including the joy, usefulness, and potential) of any of your relationships depends directly on the level of trust between you.

To increase the trust in any relationship–at work or at home–you have to be more vulnerable.

To be more vulnerable, trust in yourself. Trust that you can handle the situation you find yourself in. Improve your relationship with yourself so that you know you will be fine no matter what happens. QED

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Full circle, woot!