The Seven Powers of Weakness

broken bulb

The worst leaders never admit weakness. They:

  1. Lie to preserve face.
  2. Live in fear of being found out.
  3. Lose themselves.

The best leaders understand the secret power of weakness.

Love, compassion, and loyalty:

I’ve had many leaders share their struggles with me. I love them for it. I’ve seen many leaders hide their faults. I stop trusting them.

Every super-hero has a weakness. We connect with them through their struggle.

Vulnerability – exposing weakness – is an invitation.

What happens when you point out a teammate’s weakness and they acknowledge it?

It takes real strength to acknowledge weakness.

Bad weakness:

Weakness is pathetic when it:

  1. Turns into self-loathing and self-pity. There’s no place for woe-is-me in leadership.
  2. Cries out for sympathy.
  3. Excuses lack of effort or failure. Weakness is a reality not an excuse.
  4. Vindicates and accepts second-rate.
  5. Expresses apathy.

Seven powers of weakness:

Acknowledging weakness:

  1. Allows you to celebrate the strength of others. Lousy leaders always outshine others.
  2. Opens your ears to input and feedback.
  3. Makes you approachable.
  4. Protects you from over confidence.
  5. Enhances your humanity and invites connections. Leading is connecting.
  6. Enables empathy. Leaders who can’t acknowledge their own frailties don’t want to hear yours either. Isolation sets in.
  7. Opens the door for growth.

Bonus:  Successful leaders give power to others. Empower others by acknowledging your weakness.

How to be weak without being a loser:

  1. Make progress. Losers play dead.
  2. Reject embarrassment. Vulnerability feels uncomfortable, but never apologize for a weakness.
  3. Connect with those who compensate for your weakness. Leaders who pretend they don’t have weakness neglect the strength of others.
  4. Honor your strengths. Know what you do well and play on that field as much as possible.

How can leaders acknowledge weakness in useful ways?

How can leaders navigate the dangers of acknowledging weakness? 

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