Whatever our idea of “being in charge” is, chances are we picture strength. Courage. Being totally unflappable. It means never displaying weakness in order to keep the whole team strong. Right? Actually, wrong. It’s time to be a better leader by being vulnerable.
Bart Lorang, Managing Director at V1, starts every meeting by assessing how he feels. Is he calm and present, reactive and upset or just not feeling well, or somewhere in between? Checking in like this lets him get real with his team. Says Lorang, “Leaders think they have to have all of the answers, but what if instead you said ‘Team, I don’t know in this situation and I really need your help. I’m scared too.’ Now that’s courage. That’s leadership.”
Building a business is very very hard, as much as it is rewarding. Why not let yourself be honest about your venture in every way?
Be Honest With Your Team
Open up, whether at work or in life, and you’ll find people will trust you more. If you accept the ups and downs of a business publicly like this, your team will form a genuine connection. They’ll know you trust them in return.
After letting your team know your real feelings, it’s going to be easier to lean on their collective ideas and honest opinions. That way, you don’t have to carry out the search for solutions alone. You’ll have more productive and more sincere brainstorming sessions and meetings.
Be Honest With Yourself
Examine your feelings. Understand why you feel the way you do, whether you’re high on success or scared over a big risk. Then, you’ll be able to analyze solutions. Taking stock of yourself and your feelings helps you from being completely reactive and making a poor decision. It can also keep you from reacting badly to someone else on your team.
More than that, talking about your fears, especially with other people, helps lessen the anxiety. You can better face important issues head-on this way.
You can see more from Bart’s talk at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival.