THE UNSPOKEN FACE OF LEADERSHIP: Vulnerability

Excitement, Thrill, Hope, Vision, Passion, Energy, Synergy, Collaboration, Purpose, Meaningfulness, Bonding, Love - these states, feelings, emotions have infused the seven-week journey of the 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows 2017 (MWF). Along way, they have imprinted fellows’ individual matrix to an extent that shift happened beyond awareness.
This imprinting is an integral part of any leadership journey. This shifting is essential to any leader’s path.
But leadership is not just about high-end feelings, emotions and states.
Leadership is not just about Excitement, Thrill, Hope, Vision, Passion, Energy, Synergy, Collaboration, Purpose, Meaningfulness, Bonding, Love.
Leadership is not just about strategies, tactics, visions, mission and goals.
While one feels Excitement, Thrill, Hope, Vision, Passion, Energy, Synergy, Collaboration, Purpose, Meaningfulness, Bonding, Love; One also feels “Not Good Enough”, “Limited”, “Unfit”, “Useless”, “Unworthy” ”, “Despair”, “Blurred”, “Cluttered”, “Unclear”.
The Unspoken face of Leadership: “Not Good Enough”, “Limited”, “Unfit”, “Useless”, “Unworthy” ”, “Despair”, “Blurred”, “Cluttered”, “Unclear”.
In truth leadership is about you, me and us. Leadership is about “being human”.
“Being human” means vulnerability. Vulnerability means giving yourself permission to be and feel what you feel and that what you are at a given moment in time.
Leadership is in truth about vulnerability. For unless you give yourself space and time to listen, to feel, to hear, to see what is churning within, you will never grow in your awareness. And growth gets activated only as your self-awareness expands and deepens.
While MWFellows 2017 have swirled in Excitement, Thrill, Hope, Vision, Passion, Energy, Synergy, Collaboration, Purpose, Meaningfulness, Bonding, Love, there have also been endless moments where each one of us have gone through the agony of “Not Good Enough”, “Limited”, “Unfit”, “Useless”, “Unworthy”, “Despair”, “Blurred”, “Cluttered”, “Unclear”.
This churning of lower-end feelings, emotions and states are a normal part of the growth path of any leader. Yet, we still shy to talk about this part of a leader’s journey and we often simper this part with “easy-to-go-modern-age-positivism”.
No leader has achieved greatness unless he/she has paused to look at his/her inner limits.  This is called “being vulnerable”.
Researcher, writer and public speaker, Brené Brown has researched extensively on vulnerability for the last fifteen years and her voice is “VULNERABILITY is not about FEAR and GRIEF and DISAPPOINTMENT. It is the BIRTHPLACE for EVERYTHING that WE ARE HUNGRY FOR.”
In today’s world, we label this as “self-development”. And in my world we name it “inner self development”, we go purposefully within to the source of the “identified issue” and from there on, we shift. We work with beliefs systems, it is a tough aching shitty path but it is growing and glowing.
“Being Vulnerable” does not mean a lack of vision, a lack of clarity or a lack of objectivity. And “Being Vulnerable” certainly does not mean you go out in the world and you flood your tears and cry your agony to whoever crosses your path.
“Being Vulnerable” means standing in ownership of that which one feels at a given moment in time.
“Being Vulnerable” for a leader is about strategy, is about knowing where the blockages are and it is about working consciously on a plan to grow beyond the blockages.
While you choose to lead, there is one undeniable truth; you lead your life first and last - that's the only aspect of leadership that you will ever truly lead.
Leading your life means giving yourself permission and the space to shifting, changing and transforming.
Leading your life means being open to facing your limits, fears, pains, fakeness, masks, wounds, illusions and unknowns.
Leading means it will be a journey loaded with shit and gold, love and confusion, loses and gains, tears and rains...
Leading means being vulnerable and being vulnerable means opening to oneself and to connecting with the world.
Ultimately every journey serves the purpose of leading you back to your core. This is the essence of Leadership "Impact Within First then Impact Without".