Leadership Courage and Vulnerability

DSN9164-2-MFacilitating an event is always a learning experience. For a recent team building event I was asked to facilitate a discussion for a senior leadership team. During the activities and follow-up an individual brought up a serious situation that was happening in the office. A conflict between two of the leadership team was effecting the work and relationships of others in the office. The two in conflict were aware of the issues, but not completely understanding of exactly what the problem was. Or maybe more correctly stated, they were interpreting the situation differently and each wrong about the other person.

This third party was concerned about the relationship and the working situation and brought the subject up for the entire team to consider. You might say it was one of those ‘elephants in the room’ that everyone is aware of but nobody wants to speak about. But this person knew that for the good of the organization, and to move forward as a team, the issue had to be addressed and resolved. By bringing it up there was much discussion, airing of feelings, understanding of truth and positions, several apologies, asking of forgiveness, and resolution of the conflict; as well as ideas shared on how to not let it happen again.

One person had two qualities that are indispensable for leadership. He showed courage and vulnerability. Often these two go hand in hand. Addressing, or calling attention to an issue can be very dangerous. But the danger of not solving the problem is more hazardous to the organization than the issue of personal comfort. In this instance a man made a decision to overcome his personal fears of what might happen to him personally, and to address an issue that needed resolution for the good of the organization.

That courage made him vulnerable to the others in the group, especially the two in conflict. But his courage and vulnerability to talk about how it was effecting him made the difference in the meeting and in the future of the company. He opened up and it allowed others the freedom to do so also. His courage and vulnerability were contagious as others bravely opened up and shared concerning the situation; and the two at conflict doing the same. The discussion revealed truth about the conflict that otherwise wouldn’t have been known, and brought healing to the individuals involved and relief to the office and relationships around them.

Great leadership involves courage and vulnerability.

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge


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