Unfortunately in my experience, a lot leaders shy away from being vulnerable. My experience tells me the largest factor being a person with a vision and a dream had to appear strong and bold to get their dreams in the air and it worked for them. Starting their organization I am certain they had many fears, most felt these fears on the pillow alone and afraid. Society, banks, investors and employees had expectations of resilience and authority. Entrepreneurs can pull this off, most often they have no other choice.
Unfortunately this attitude creates a mask of ego and pride very difficult to dismantle. You see this attitude of success has carried them very far and why would showing anyone their inner most fear work when faking it has worked for so long.
Customers, investors, banks all expect this from a leader. Leaders believe employees expect the same, they don't. Actually great leaders know that being vulnerable might be the greatest trait among all. When you are vulnerable it lets people know they are not alone.
All of us have problems and most of our problems are most often lived upstairs in our heads. Society tells us to always look bold and strong and people will follow. Society is wrong, people love underdogs because most people see themselves as underdogs. Most often they won't fight for themselves but they will fight for others. The beauty arises when they see vulnerability in it's truest sense comes alive and it transfers into their own lives.
A leader that is tough enough and bold enough to share their weakness it lets others know they are not as strong as they think. It also rises people up in the efforts of others. A leader that is clear with the problems in front of them and vulnerable enough to say they do not have all of the answers will create a creative learning culture of employees that want to solve a problem. They will solve the issue in front of them not only for the leader but for the customers, for the business!
I have had people tell me my vulnerability is seen as a weakness. Actually the same people that say this might be the most broken of all. They are paralyzed in their own mess and problems and mask them all in perfection.
I have seen the benefits of being vulnerable. It makes us human. A pursuit of perfection is a terrible destination and nothing is worse than being around someone who thinks they are perfect. Progress is a beautiful destination and the only one we should all be striving for, together.
Hear more from Scott McGohan at the 2018 PWH Leadership Summit.