Anything But Vulnerability, Please!
But here is the central problem. Among people, it’s vulnerability that truly forges connection.
It would be great if you just believed us now. But we sense you need more. Let us introduce you briefly to researcher and storyteller Brene Brown, who changed our view on vulnerability dramatically (along with the almost 18 million other people who have watched one of her two TED talks, here and here.). Her work on shame and vulnerability is groundbreaking, and it applies to business as much as it applies to things like relationships and parenting. Because her research is about people, and every single organization is made up of people.
One of Brown’s central points is that the myth that vulnerability is weakness is profoundly dangerous. It stifles people and organizations. Because without vulnerability, there would be no innovation and no creativity. In fact, she says, vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage, because it means stepping out and being seen. It means risking failure. It means putting forth a human face when it’s easier to hide behind something else. But it’s that very risk that makes people connect.
After her TED talks exploded, Brown got offers to talk to organizations all over the world. They wanted her to talk about innovation, creativity, and change—but not vulnerability.
So yes, it would be convenient to avoid vulnerability. But if you want your association to be relevant for the future, you can’t.
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