Transparency and Vulnerability – 4 Ways to Let Yourself be Seen without Oversharing

You might enjoy anonymity and mask-wearing. But high-impact leaders let themselves be seen.

Letting yourself be seen might be one of the hardest things you do. I remember hearing Patrick Lencioni say, “I don’t believe a leader can be too vulnerable.” It freaks me out.

High impact includes at least 7 strategies, but letting yourself be seen is foundational.

Peeking peacock.

You might enjoy anonymity, but high-impact leaders let themselves be seen,.

4 ways to let yourself be seen:

#1. Let people see you learning.

Say things like:

  1. I’m reading this great book. What are you reading?
  2. I used to think X, but now I think Y.
  3. I’m working to get better at….

#2. Let people see your behaviors and rituals.

Say things like:

  1. I do X in the morning to get off on the right foot.
  2. When I feel stressed, I usually ….
  3. I do my best to go to all the sporting events of my kids.

#3. Let people see you giving second chances.

People don’t appreciate that giving second chances is putting your credibility on the line.

Learning opportunities are expensive.

Reckless failure calls for consequences. Neglect, blame, and excuse-making point to reckless failure. But when people give their best and fail, honor their effort. Help them learn from failure.

You might tell the team, “You gave it your best shot and fell short. I respect your hard work. What are we going to do differently next time?”

#4. Let people hear grit-stories.

Angela Duckworth writes that grit is more important to success than talent and intelligence, so tell stories about perseverance.

  1. Say, “I’m glad I didn’t throw in the towel when X happened.”
  2. Don’t whine about difficulty.
  3. Begin a grit-story with, “I remember when we were surprised at how difficult it was to ….”
  4. Honor others when telling grit stories. Never make it all about you.

What concerns you about letting yourself be seen?

How might leaders let themselves be seen?

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