I saw this post on LinkedIn this week and loved it. At Workbench (Marrow’s small business consulting company) we talk about thriving leadership as the calibration of leadership authority and leadership vulnerability. I use this exact example all the time. A high authority leader recognizes when cuts need to be made for the health of the business and acts decisively. A leader or leadership team who also embraces leadership vulnerability looks first to absorb the cost of those cuts themselves. This is thriving leadership. In contrast, a low vulnerability leader just looks to displace their vulnerability onto others – keeping their income the same while simultaneously doing RIFs across the business to lower payroll costs. This leadership causes destruction – in culture, employee morale, productivity, etc.
This is just one example of how vital authority AND vulnerability are to leadership. If you’re not feeling the tension created between leadership authority and leadership vulnerability, you’re not thriving as a leader as much as you could, and neither are your employees or your organization.