For business leaders, writers, and everyone in between, allowing yourself to be human, and vulnerable, goes a long way toward establishing trust. That doesn’t make it easy.
You’ve been a business professional for quite a while now and have learned a lot in your time as a leader in various organizations. Your years of experience and education and your expertise and innovative ideas are what other impassioned leaders need to attain the success you’ve achieved. But do the people you serve know who you really are? They know you are a leader, but do they realize you’re human and no different from them when the veil is pulled back? Have you ever considered that the only way to establish a genuine connection with others is to be vulnerable?
As a nonfiction book coach, I speak from experience. It wasn’t until I got real about my true self and who I really am that I began to attract a sustained influx of clients. Because I chose to be vulnerable, it encourages my clients to do the same and it’s one reason they want to work with me. It isn’t easy, but I propose it could be necessary to the success of your business — and your book.
Vulnerability establishes trust
In “The Healing Power of Telling Your Story,” Lissa Rankin, M.D. writes:
As Brené Brown teaches in her TEDx talk, “The Power Of Vulnerability,” the gateway to intimacy is via being vulnerable about your imperfections. If you try to sugar coat your story, you miss out on the sense of connection with another human being that you can only attain when you’re letting someone see your warts and your big ugly tail. Every time you expose those imperfections — even because of those imperfections — you gain trust (or as Brown calls it, you “put marbles in the jar”). Over time, the intimacy you feel with other people depends on how many marbles are in your jar.
What business leader doesn’t want to establish trust amongst her staff and the customers her business serves? When trust is established with your subordinates and counterparts, success in all of your departments is guaranteed. People want to work with and for someone they trust and can relate to. The beauty of vulnerability is its ability to establish a connection with people from all different walks of life. People can connect with someone who knows how to get real.
David K. Williams, author of The 7 Non-Negotiables of Winning: Tying Soft Traits to Hard Results, describes vulnerability in business in this Forbes magazine article: “Vulnerability is a natural condition of the work that we do — it isn’t a choice but a consequence. To declare oneself ‘not vulnerable’ would be inauthentic and would leave a leader living in a perpetual state of denial and stress. So it’s better and more courageous for every leader to acknowledge the fact that vulnerability is there.”
As a business leader, you don’t need added stress to your life. Let go of your pride and expose your vulnerability.
Showcase your vulnerability through writing
You know deep down that you are a true leader. Writing a book not only helps to establish yourself as an expert, but it’s another way to expose your vulnerable side. Business leaders write books for a number of reasons:
- They have something to share that will benefit others.
- They want to leave a legacy that will impact the future.
- They see others struggle and have learned how to overcome obstacles.
- They want to showcase their businesses and their paths to success.
- They want to expose themselves as “real people” to their audiences.
Here is what author/business leader/entrepreneur David. J.P. Fisher had to say after writing Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It: “Writing the first book was definitely a big hurdle, but I found that it was like running a marathon. Once you do one, you look back and want to do it again. I’ve published three shorter books in the ten months after publishing my first book, and there are more on the way. It’s definitely helped build my professional credibility and stature as an expert in my field.”
What do you have to lose? When will there ever be a better moment than now? It’s time to build your personal brand and establish yourself as an expert and show people who you really are.
Your discovery is the solution someone else needs
We have so many problems in our world, and the top-down approaches don’t always work. I believe the answers are trapped inside of people like you. Whether your discovery is about a new business process that can save time and money, a memoir about overcoming pain and suffering, or reflections on how to connect on a soul-level with your dog, if you are passionate about a solution, someone else needs it. People don’t buy books, they buy solutions. Someone is looking for what’s trapped inside you.
Do you have an idea for a book, but don’t know how to get started? Is your idea a passion that continues to grow? Could your discovery change the way we do things? Is it something that’s been percolating for some time, and it’s time to release it? You do not have to be a professional writer to publish a powerful book. You just need an idea and the commitment to see the process through. Someone needs your discovery.
Discoveries need to be shared
When you look at a clock, do you ever wonder how we learned to quantify time and who built the first clock? Or what about that glass of milk, wine, or beer many of us consume on a regular basis without an afterthought. You know the term pasteurization, but have you ever thought about who created that process to make these beverages safe for us to drink?
Like you, I take these modern day conveniences for granted and expect them to be available when I need them. I am forever grateful that Louis Pasteur not only discovered his heat-treatment process that destroys pathogenic microorganisms in certain foods, but that he took the time to share it with the rest of us! And we can’t forget Chinese monk and mathematician I-Hsing for creating the first mechanical clock. What if these scientists — and countless others — decided to keep their discoveries to themselves? Talk about being selfish.
What discoveries have you made that you’ve yet to share with the world?
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