Driving Leadership Through Vulnerability

Driving Leadership Through Vulnerability

A leader needs to have a heart that cares, not be afraid to show it and empower others to make decisions.

As we reflect on the responsibilities and professional duties of a leader, a leadership role clearly influences and impacts the professional and personal lives of others. It requires the ability to translate a vision into a reality and the highest degree of communication skills. A leader has to be brave enough to lead during times of constant change and have a keen awareness of human motivation, behavior, fears and expectations.

When uncertainty occurs, and indeed it will, a leader has to have the strength to lift up others, have them keep the faith and stay the course. A true leader helps their team win and succeed. A leader leads the way in a storm, walks behind in the sunshine of success and shares the credit appropriately earned by their team!

Ponder this: Effective leadership is a very selfless act. It is truly putting others first and controlling the negative side of one’s ego. Never forget: all business tends to be personal. Leadership is being mission- and people-driven and living and articulating the organization’s value proposition. Good leadership inspires employees and builds a company culture that embodies the higher purpose of serving others.

Questions to consider: Is risk-taking and challenging creativity encouraged in your organization? Do your employees trust the organization and leadership to always do the right thing? Integrity counts! Is there a sense of professional passion in the company? Is there a passion for your company’s brand?

In my opinion, a leader needs to have a heart that cares, not be afraid to show it and empower others to make decisions and professionally challenge leaders as well as their colleagues. It is paramount to never forget the untapped potential in all employees. A leader’s role is to open people’s minds and encourage them to pursue their career and personal passions, and to build a fire for unlimited motivation.

Impactful leaders are both leaders and teachers. A learning organization is a competitive advantage. Life and business are time in motion. Strategic and tactical planning move the needle. Open the door of trust and let employees express their concerns and feelings. The truth shall prevail and enhance motivation. Leadership also requires the self-confidence (not arrogance) to believe in one’s ability to lead and make a difference.

In these times of rapid change, more than ever we need to:

  • Focus on both internal and external relationships;
  • Have a very strong bias for positive action;
  • Be a keen listener and empower others;
  • Display humility;
  • Be real–stay authentic;
  • Stay the course by being consistent;
  • Know who we are–self-awareness.;
  • Be a role model.

It is important to view empathy as a strength. Life and business are a team sport. Compassion, collaboration, competence, communications and culture are the recipe for success. Leadership can be a lonely position. To address the loneliness, it is important for leaders to have a trusted advisor, to share their concerns, perspectives, challenges, dreams and stoke the fire of effective leadership. Character in leadership counts. Business circumstances change, character stays the course.

Dr. John A Passante is president and CEO of The Organizational Development Group, Inc. and author of “The Human Side: High Touch Leadership in a High-Tech World.”

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