Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

Why a Leader Should Show Vulnerability

When you search the word “leadership” there are many qualities that show up – qualities that leaders should have. You’ll see things like courage, vision, accountability, and flexibility. But one word you don’t see often is vulnerability.

Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

We spend all day as leaders feeling the pressure and stress to win and perform at a higher level than others. What if we just took a minute to be our authentic selves? What if we let go of that pressure and let others in the company actually see us?

Leader showing vulnerability to his team

Vulnerability is a strength for leadership and something we should all strive to exemplify in the office setting.

“A leader, first and foremost, is a human. Only when we have the strength to show our vulnerability can we truly lead.”

Simon Sinek

Here are a few reasons why a leader should show vulnerability:

  • Your staff sees you as a human and not just a leader.
  • It allows you to be yourself.
  • It allows you to form meaningful connections with your employees and team.
  • It empowers others in the company. 

You can show vulnerability in many ways. It’s asking for help from your team. It’s taking responsibility for something that went wrong. It’s telling your team that you don’t have the answer(s). And it’s asking your team for feedback, knowing there may be some negative feedback. Vulnerability is, as Brene Brown puts it, showing up when you can’t control the outcome.

​​“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

Brené Brown

A leader worth following is vulnerable. They show up. It’s time we start showing this trait more.