Vulnerability of a leader

What do we expect from a leader today? With three, soon four[1], generations in the workplace, intercultural and virtual teams, diversity high on the agenda, change a constant, social and global mobility, employees’ needs changing, depending on where they are in their life. What does a leader need to do in order to meet all these needs?

Researchers, writers, consultants, leaders have given many different key competencies which in one way or another describe a person who is somewhat perfect. We expect a leader to inspire trust, to drive their team’s performance, enable constant learning, prepare for change, have a clear vision and deal with uncertainty; anticipate the clients’ needs and be ahead of market changes. All this whilst remaining authentic and strong.

And who wouldn’t want such a leader, someone we can look up to follow even in the most challenging times, someone who has the compass, who is always strong in spite of the situation. Probably most of us would answer yes.

The question is: does such a person exist? Can such a person, who constantly and consistently exuberates this positive strength be authentic, be real?

Dr. Brené Brown[2] is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.