The Biggest Myths About Vulnerability

The team leader is generally who people look to for support and advice when going through traumatic events in their lives. It is just as important as leaders that we also be transparent and reach out for support and advice when we are overwhelmed with something in our own lives.  Leaders are people too. 

“Why vulnerability is the first thing you look for in other people, but the last thing you want to reveal in yourself.”  -Brene Brown

Just as you would behave with your team members when they are struggling with an overwhelming problem, you need to be able to reach out as well.  We are all human and life takes us down many paths and on several journeys.  How we behave during these trying times can help us to learn and grow, as we work through something that can be empowering or painful. 

We need to engage the support of the team.  You can even empower them with new duties, to allow yourself the time and energy you need to devote to developing new skills to learn to adjust or cope with a new normal.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” -Brene Brown  

The Biggest Myth About Vulnerability (2.35 minute video by Brene Brown) 

Generally people in leadership positions have vision, drive and have surrounded themselves with like-minded individuals with forward thinking values, walking the walk and talking the talk.  This includes their team.  I know I have an awesome team of dedicated individuals who are engaged and we are working towards the same vision and goals.

curve ballI am transparent with my team when life throws me a curve ball and sets a different course along the path of my life journey.  Why?  Because I trust them, even when some things might change me, might adjust my priorities and might make me vulnerable and in need of support.  

We cannot change life’s curve balls but we can choose how we survive in order to again thrive. {tweet this}

As leaders we need to be able to reach out to those around us without any hesitation and we will not be seen as weak.  I believe it takes courage and makes a leader look stronger, more real, as we tell our story and look for encouragement, support or even a hug.  Empathy is a huge leadership value to have and to share. We understand you. Rear view of depressed young woman sitting at the chair while other people comforting her

It is a sign of a true leader if you can be open, transparent, and vulnerable, as trusting a person as you would expect your team members to be. Remember that this behavior is what makes all of us stretch, learn and grow.  In order to continue to be an uplifting leader, sometimes you must have your team uplift you.

Written by

Cheri Essner, PMP, MCPM, MCBA founder of with a vision of “Knowledge Offers Renewed Empowerment”. Team building is her passion and she loves to share her experiences from working in the classroom. believes that team building is the way to change your Organization Culture from “Me” to “We” through Interactive Exercises and Self-Assessment. Cheri is an Authorized Wiley Partner for Everything DiSC® and The Five Cohesive Behaviours of a Team®. Cheri is very active with her local PMI Chapter and is serving her second term as Chapter President June 2014. Visit

1 Response to "The Biggest Myths About Vulnerability"

  1. Dan Forbes says:

    Thanks for your post, Cheri. I’ve had a lot of “curve balls” thrown at me over my life. I’ve definitely learned that we can CHOOSE how we respond. Responding is better than reacting.