by Paige Miller
From starting a company to taking responsibility for something that went wrong at work, the willingness to face uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure is critical for us to grow as individuals and as leaders. The idea that vulnerability is not weakness, but is rather a measure of courage, comes from researcher and storyteller Brené Brown. Through her work on issues like vulnerability and shame, Brown encourages people to reconsider the way they live, parent, work, and navigate personal relationships.
Vulnerability isn’t necessarily a topic that people want to talk about. Brown has told stories of how leaders will approach her with requests for her to speak to their staff to help inspire innovation and creativity – as long as she can, you know, tone down the focus on that vulnerability thing. Brown argues that leaders need to understand that “vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity and innovation.” Without vulnerability, she asks “how can we innovate?”
In a 2 1/2 minute clip, Brown shares some thoughtful insights about leadership, vulnerability and taking risks. This is one clip of four bite-sized videos on leadership and vulnerability featured on Inc.com (check out the full piece here: 4 Powerful Things Leaders Should Know About Vulnerability). If you want to learn even more, check out her TED Talk, or her book Daring Greatly.