23The Vulnerability Wheel

Leading with vulnerability is the most powerful thing that you as a leader can do. Developing the eight attributes helps you unlock that power, but the vulnerability wheel helps you harness that power so it has the highest chance of being received the right way and creating a positive impact.

There is a right and wrong way to be vulnerable at work and the right way does require some structure for it. Context matters.

Recall the Vulnerable Leader Equation:

upper V u l n e r a b l e plus upper L e a d e r equals upper L e a d i n g w i t h upper V u l n e r a b i l i t y

The leadership component means that you need to pay special attention to several elements that make up the Vulnerable Leader Wheel, a framework that will walk you through five elements you should consider before deciding to be vulnerable (see Figure 23.1).

Schematic illustration of the Vulnerable Leader Wheel.

Figure 23.1 The Vulnerable Leader Wheel

You can't always control all of the elements in the wheel; for example, something might come out during a meeting with your peers or during a spontaneous moment of connection with a team member. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those and they can be beautiful and meaningful experiences.

My goal with this framework isn't to imply that every moment of vulnerability needs to be analyzed, dissected, scripted, and presented as if it's been run through a public relations team. This framework is designed ...

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