Regarding the paradox of vulnerability in leadership, what may have been standard practice in the past is no longer considered acceptable today.
Leadership principles have undergone a significant metamorphosis in recent years. Contemporary leadership principles and practice no longer emphasize an autocratic organizational environment led by a single minded, steel fisted, dominate personality.
New standards for organizational leadership are mandated due to changes in social norms and organizational needs that now demand a different kind of leader; one that is more emotionally intelligent, authentic, collaborative, and a leader that possesses a high degree of self-awareness.
Leadership and decision making are becoming more decentralized as organizations seek a broader distribution of these critical functions. Furthermore, valuable research has shown that the inclusion of diverse opinions and experiences from a broader community result in better organizational decision making.
Implementing these changes requires the creation of a psychologically safe environment within organizational cultures.
Without this valuable asset individuals, fearing reprisal, are hesitant to speak up to offer the unfiltered feedback necessary for organizational growth and optimal decision making.
In order to promote the diversity and inclusiveness that is essential to creating a psychologically safe culture, leaders must model openness by resolving their self-limiting perceptions of their own personal vulnerability.
We promote this endeavor by abandoning our position of authority and adopting a new perspective as a member of our team. By openly admitting to our team that we do not have all the answers and that we need their help to overcome our own blind spots, we become more human and approachable, and we begin to create an environment conducive to a growth mindset.
“What am I missing here?” is a uniquely generative question often posed to teams by effective leaders when facing difficult situations needing resolution.
The paradox of vulnerability is that what we once viewed as weakness or liability is actually one of our greatest strengths.
Brené Brown, a renown psychological opinion leader, states that we create protective mechanisms, or psychological armor, to protect ourselves from vulnerability.
Removing our psychological armor and exposing our true selves to those we lead is perhaps one of the most impactful decisions a leader can make. Not only does it make us more authentic and approachable, but it is the genesis for a psychologically safe, growth-oriented, culture.
It is important to note that these same principles that guide modern leadership and organizational culture apply as much to our dental practices as they do to large corporations. In fact, our smaller practice groups are more easily transformed by these principles than larger corporate groups.
Walking the fine line between being the boss as well as being a member of your team is often a difficult process.
What we believe as coaches at Line of Sight Coaching is that leadership is as much about letting go of ego and vulnerability as it is about acquiring new skills.
Even more importantly, letting go of these self-limiting beliefs that inhibit our growth must precede the acquisition of a new leadership skill set.
If you would like to learn more about how our coaching programs can help you move towards a paradox of vulnerability in your practice, please reach out to us to schedule a complimentary 30 minute phone call.
At Line of Sight Coaching, we have created a quick ten-question self-assessment Leadership Quiz. Take this opportunity to gauge your leadership effectiveness and get an answer to the question, “Have you ever wondered about your ability to lead?” Take our Free Leadership Quiz.
Dr. Joel Small and Dr. Edwin McDonald, the founders of Line of Sight Coaching, are dental practitioners, authors, speakers and Business Leadership Coaches who work with healthcare professionals to help them build more successful practices so they can live the balanced life they seek.