For business leaders, writers, and everyone in between, allowing yourself to be human, and vulnerable, goes a long way toward establishing trust. That doesn’t make it easy.
You’ve been a business professional for quite a while now and have learned a lot in your time as a leader in various organizations. Your years of experience and education and your expertise and innovative ideas are what other impassioned leaders need to attain the success you’ve achieved. But do the people you serve know who you really are? They know you are a leader, but do they realize you’re human and no different from them when the veil is pulled back? Have you ever considered that the only way to establish a genuine connection with others is to be vulnerable?
Wearing my nonfiction book coach hat, I speak from experience. It wasn’t until I got real about my true self and who I really am that I began to attract a sustained influx of clients. Because I chose to be vulnerable, it encourages my clients to do the same and its one reason they want to work with me. It isn’t easy, but I propose it could be necessary to the success of your business — and your book.
As Brené Brown teaches in her TEDx talk (See the full TedX talk here), “The Power Of Vulnerability,” the gateway to intimacy is via being vulnerable about your imperfections. If you try to sugar coat your story, you miss out on the sense of connection with another human being that you can only attain when you’re letting someone see your warts and your big ugly tail. Every time you expose those imperfections — even because of those imperfections — you gain trust (or as Brown calls it, you “put marbles in the jar”). Over time, the intimacy you feel with other people depends on how many marbles are in your jar.
What business leader doesn’t want to establish trust amongst her staff and the customers her business serves? When trust is established with your subordinates and counterparts, success in all of your departments is guaranteed. People want to work with and for someone they trust and can relate to. The beauty of vulnerability is its ability to establish a connection with people from all different walks of life. People can connect with someone who knows how to get real.
David K. Williams, author of The 7 Non-Negotiables of Winning: Tying Soft Traits to Hard Results, describes vulnerability in business in this Forbes magazine article (see the full article here): “Vulnerability is a natural condition of the work that we do — it isn’t a choice but a consequence. To declare oneself ‘not vulnerable’ would be inauthentic and would leave a leader living in a perpetual state of denial and stress. So it’s better and more courageous for every leader to acknowledge the fact that vulnerability is there.”
As a business leader, you don’t need added stress to your life. Let go of your pride and expose your vulnerability.
Showcase your vulnerability through writing
You know deep down that you are a true leader. Writing a book not only helps to establish yourself as an expert, but it’s another way to expose your vulnerable side. Business leaders write books for a number of reasons:
- They have something to share that will benefit others.
- They want to leave a legacy that will impact the future.
- They see others struggle and have learned how to overcome obstacles.
- They want to showcase their businesses and their paths to success.
- They want to expose themselves as “real people” to their audiences.
In business and in life, trust is a must.
To Your Success,