The Vulnerable Executive

This week I’ll be speaking at the Forbes’ CMO Summit on this idea of vulnerabilty.

Conventional wisdom suggests that vulnerability, particularly in business, is a weakness, but I’ve found just the opposite.

Before my accident, I was very measured in what I shared about myself. I thought sharing anything challenging would make me seem like less of a leader, someone who didn’t have the answers.

Then everything changed. After I was catapulted into a new situation, I found myself sharing out of necessity. I wanted to ensure people knew my medical progress to take the burden off of my husband and parents having to tell the story time and time again. And then I started to share more. How I was feeling. How hard the day was on a particular day. What it felt like to be depressed. And people responded. People rallied around me. People shared their stories, things I had never heard before even though I’d known some of them for years.

This vulnerability also translated into empowering others by sharing that I needed help, that I needed others. It also enabled me to take bigger risks. It generated higher engagement and trust.

So my challenge to you this week - try to be more vulnerable and see what happens. You don’t have to lose a leg to learn this lesson - I’m offering it up right here for free.