Society has always admired strength. Those people and institutions that are strong are the ones that survive. Countries who show strength are the most powerful and respected. Weakness is regarded as quite negative, especially in a business environment.“Being vulnerable means exposing what you have to lose, admitting what you do not know and confessing your fears. This can easily be mistaken for weakness,” according to “Weakness Can Be a Modern CEO’s Greatest Strength. Here’s Why,” an article that appears on the World Economic Forum website. “Showing weakness runs counter to the tendency of most CEOs to play up their strengths.”
After the global economic meltdown, consumers began to see businesses and their leaders as corrupt and greedy. Several years later, economies have recovered but this attitude has shifted little. To gain the trust of the public, leaders must demonstrate that they are vulnerable. Doing this takes a great deal of strength.
The first thing leaders should do is control their ego. Many top-level executives have a very inflated view of themselves. And in many cases, they have earned it by working hard and demonstrating intelligence and creativity. However, they must remember that they are human – just like everyone else.
Controlling ego means that you expose yourself to others and this demonstrates a level of trust. Because all business transactions involve relationships, trust is a very important factor in this process.
Trust also factors into letting go and allowing others to take care of duties that you as a leader would otherwise do. Leaders reach their positions because of their hard work and innovative ideas but it is wise to let others demonstrate their skills. When you do this, you show your workers that they are capable enough to take on tough tasks. It will instill such a sense of pride in them that they will contribute greatly to the entire organization.
Finally, obstacles are inevitable in any organization. How a leader responds to a setback makes all the difference in the world. For example, trying to hide when something goes wrong does nothing to move the company forward. But when you are open and honest, a certain type of authenticity comes to the surface.
An increasing number of consumers are seeking authenticity when deciding what businesses to patronize. The organizations who remain true and authentic are the ones that will survive.
It is this authenticity that sets apart the ego-driven leader from the ones who are vulnerable and not afraid to show it.