Lead With Vulnerability

“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail”

– Kobe Bryant 

If you go into any situation afraid to fail, you’re opening the door for failure to creep in. At Service Express, we often talk about the importance of failing forward and learning from our mistakes to become great leaders. Leading with vulnerability shows your team that you’re not afraid to stumble or have the wrong answer.  

It’s not uncommon to come across a leader who is afraid of making a mistake or not having the right answer in front of their team. It’s not fair to your team if you aren’t being your true self around them – which includes making and owning mistakes. Nobody wants to work with a know-it-all – they want a human they can connect with and learn from.  

A real leader is okay with saying, “I don’t know.” Ideas are rarely successful in their first iteration and success is an evolutionary process – that’s why you should never be expected to always have a great idea on the first try. If you make a mistake, that is perfectly okay! You should always acknowledge it without excuses and discover what steps are needed to move forward.  

Showing vulnerability to your leaders can be difficult. No one wants to fail in front of their boss! But if they’re a great leader, they will understand and acknowledge that mistakes are okay. If you don’t have a leader who values vulnerability, then you may have the wrong leadership. Only by pushing forward and not being afraid to fail will you find success.  

When I look at the steps Service Express has taken, I’m confident in the success we have found as a result of failing forward. If you don’t push the boundaries you won’t grow at the rate you should. The next time you find yourself afraid of being vulnerable, remember that all failure isn’t created equal – maybe a great idea will come out of it!  

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