I’m writing this on the eve of Super Bowl Weekend and I see hormones flying all over the place. Otherwise respectable people I know are already fist-pumping and grunting in breathless anticipation, and the men are even worse!
So at a time when dominance in competition is on everyone’s mind, I thought it wonderful that JPM in its January/February issue ran an article on sensitivity. Author Natalie Brecher, CPM, of Brecher & Associates, had some pertinent points to make in her column, “Are Leadership & Vulnerability at Odds?”
In it, she challenges traditional notions of what leadership is and argues that an aura of invincibility can actually induce senses of distrust and “reduce others’ desire to follow you as a leader.”
She prescribes instead a tone of vulnerability, and if that word makes you cringe, understand her definition: In the corporate environment, “it is not being emotionally fragile,” she writes. “It is being open to ideas other than your own, accepting uncertain states and recognizing your own limitations.”
Brecher advocates for a leadership style that can tone down or crank up the bravado based on the situation. “The finest leaders have the wisdom to know when they should display confidence and decisiveness, and when to show openness and allow others to take control,” she says.
Toward that end, Brecher recommends four essential steps for a more inclusive management style:
- Ask for and accept (two wildly different things, folks!) advice from others;
- Admit and act when uncertain;
- Accept mistakes from others; and
- Acknowledge and be accountable for your mistakes, then move on to make necessary corrections.
In recommending these steps, she uses a tantalizing phrase, especially for those who might be afraid of letting go: “Acknowledge the power of vulnerability.” She even quotes Sigmund Freud: “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” Certainly words to guide any manager looking to build—or rebuild—her or his team.
About the Author
John Salustri is editor-in-chief of Salustri Content Solutions, Inc., a consultancy focused on enhancing the web and print content of clients around the nation. He is a regular contributor to JPM Magazine and a frequent blogger for IREM’s website. Prior to launching SCS, John was founding editor of GlobeSt.com, the industry’s premier real estate news website, where he managed the daily output of 25 international reporters, and prior to that, he was editor of Real Estate Forum Magazine. John is a four-time winner of the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ Award for Excellence in Journalism.