What does leadership vulnerability really mean?

dandelion-wallpaper-21991-22547-hd-wallpapersA friend told me a story that…well, I’m not sure if it made me mad or sad. She works for a very large, prestigious company with a strong reputation as a well-run organization. The leadership team has embraced the term “vulnerability” as their mantra (or buzzword of the week), and everyone is using it.

I believe, very adamantly, in leadership vulnerability. Leaders who come to the table believing that they must be right and must have all the answers are dangerous. The ability to allow oneself to be vulnerable in front of those who “follow,” is sometimes difficult, but so necessary.

When she told me how this new buzzword played out in her own department, I was astounded.  Her business unit leader held a two day offsite planning retreat where the leader played an inspirational video about how people must live life fully and eliminate stress.  To emphasize the point, the video told stories of those who did not manage the stress, and became ill or died. (more…)