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Women in Leadership Circle - Vulnerability & Leadership

Women in Leadership Circle met again on Monday evening at Campbell Hall School. A big thank you to Marina Kheel, for hosting and providing a lovely spread of snacks.

We began our conversation by with Speed Stories; 2 minute introductions in which each person shares their their journey to education and leadership. I think it is important to know your story and the ability to tell it succinctly, allows you to know what parts are truly important. Brevity also allows you to tell people who are before their attention span dwindles. It was fascinating to learn a bit about everyone’s path. I learned that I need to polish my speed story both for content and time. Everytime I share my story, it gives me a chance to reflect both on which experiences have influenced my practice and helps me to recommit myself to my profession.

As we were sharing, I noticed that the stories were resonating because the person sharing was doing so from a place of vulnerability and authenticity. Sharing stories and experiences seems key for leading with vulnerability.

Our conversation focused on Brene Brown’s idea of how vulnerability relates to leadership. Her article and Ted Talk were excellent resources.

Here are our discussion questions:

  • Brene defines a Leader as “anyone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.”
    • → What processes do you rely on?

  • Brene wrote, “Do we have the courage to show up, be seen, take risks, ask for help, own our mistakes, learn from failure, lean into joy, and can we support the people around us in doing the same?”
    • → Can you remember a time when a leader demonstrated vulnerability? How did it impact you or the community?

  • What are the risks of vulnerability? What is scary about vulnerability?

  • “We use invulnerability as a shield to protect us from discomfort, anxiety, and self-doubt...perfecting, pretending, and pleasing…”
    • → When has the desire to perfect, pretend or please held you back?
  • Vulnerability means asking questions, being open to being wrong. How might we bring this quality to leading?

  • Whole hearted People who are connectors have sense of belonging because they believe they’re worthy of love and belonging, but how do we start the cycle? What gets in the way?