CHAPTER 19 From Invincibility to Authenticity Showing Vulnerability

To lead, we must instill confidence in others.

Confidence comes from an inner sense of self-respect and self-awareness. You know you have accomplished many things personally and professionally. You are also aware that those accomplishments were not achieved without the help of others. And you are very well aware of how much more you have to learn and grow. In short, true confidence is born from having perspective.

Be proud of what you have accomplished. You worked hard. You leveraged your talents. You had impact. That’s great. You also made mistakes along the way. So will the people under you and those following you. Part of your ability to help them is to show them what you learned from your mistakes. Your ability to demonstrate growth, admit to failures, and show vulnerability will help other people relax, embrace change, and let go of their anxieties.

What does it mean to show vulnerability? It’s not about apologizing or repeatedly admitting weakness. That’s not attractive, appropriate, or truthful, given that you got where you are because of your achievements, not in spite of them. Showing vulnerability, at its most basic core, is being honest. It is presenting a complete picture of yourself to your audience. In Chapter 4 on presence, we discussed the importance of bringing your genuine self to your interactions with others. You have more impact and are more readily accepted if other people feel they are ...

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