The value of being a vulnerable leader not a new concept in leadership. Many of our favorite thought leaders (like Brené Brown) have done extensive research on vulnerability and leadership.

Through research, we know that being a vulnerable leader is integral to success in leadership — it builds trust, strengthens relationship, builds resilience and elevates performance within teams. So it is probably no surprise that this is also one of my favorite topics to coach leaders on.

You Don’t Have to be an Emotional Person to be a Vulnerable Leader

Many of us are told to be a vulnerable leader means to be honest and open about our emotions and challenges. This can feel very daunting to some — sharing your inner thoughts, emotions and challenges with others is not supposed to be easy!

However, it is crucial to your success in how you keep your teams engaged and resilient.

Vulnerability really doesn’t have to feel so emotional and daunting. In order to be authentic in sharing your experiences with others, you first need to have the right mindset about those experiences.

Here are a few mindset shifts that can help you be more honest and open with others.

  • You don’t have all the answers.

Not only should you be okay with the fact that you don’t have all the answers. You need to believe that you, as a single person, cannot solve all of your team’s problems. It requires everyone’s input and insights. It is the aggregation of every team member’s ideas and experiences that will lead you to success.

  • Your role is not only to lead your team, but also to learn from them.

Always be humble enough to know that you can learn from everyone, even the most junior person in the room! If you operate with this mindset, this will help you open yourself up to others about your own developmental areas.

  • Finally, be proud of your “failures” and your own learning journey.

What’s most admirable isn’t a leader who is perfect, but a leader who is self-aware, and continuously seeks for opportunities to try new things and develop themselves. Be proud of what you see as “failure” and focus more on how far you’ve come in your own developmental areas and your growth journey. With this mindset, you’ll not only want to share your learnings with others but you’ll share them with passion and pride.

Vulnerability and Mindset Shifts

Vulnerability is integral to success in leadership. It can feel like an emotional concept and feel daunting to some. However, you don’t need to be an emotional person to be a vulnerable leader. It just requires a few mindset shifts.

What are some of your challenges in showing vulnerability as a leader?

If this post was helpful to you, check out our other leadership posts and follow us on LinkedIn!