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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> Integrity #6: Building Trust Through Vulnerability

thought-leadersLeaders are people too.

Sounds obvious, but many of us come across as if we have it all together, know everything and are always more competent that everyone who is unfortunate enough to be below us on the organizational chart.

But that facade has two problems. One is that it is, in fact, not true. The other is that everyone who works for you knows it.

Integrity, by Henry Cloud

Being too strong is as much a credibility destroyer as being too weak.

What do you think about Cloud’s assertion this week? Is there power in being real?

His main example, though effective, came from childhood. I would have appreciated something from the workplace. I’m already a believer in vulnerable leadership models, but only up to a point.

There’s a risk in undermining one’s effectiveness with “too much information” sorts of personal revelation. Knowing what’s appropriate and relevant to share about oneself is key to vulnerability serving as a trust builder rather than a trust buster.

Vulnerability is a risk worth taking. Remember, the goal is for your team to come alive and voluntarily choose to invest deeply and energetically in their work. You cannot command or force that sort of effort.

Cloud is pointing out that when people believe that you can relate to their challenges, they will be far more responsive to how you challenge them.

Have you ever had a supervisor for whom you would try to move mountains if you could? What were characteristics of that person that we might learn from?

Each Friday I post my reflections from one chapter of Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Henry Cloud. If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.


Here's My Thought...


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