The Why and How of Embracing Vulnerability in Social Enterprise
You want to do it all. You’ve got the passion and the heart to make our world a better place. That’s no small feat, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to have all the answers, nor do you need to do everything on your own. Sometimes the biggest challenge is accepting your shortcomings and asking for help. To give you a leg up, here are a few practical and powerful ways to embrace your vulnerability in social enterprise.
What Are the Vulnerabilities in Your Social Enterprise?
With vulnerability comes the opportunity for tremendous growth! Assess where you are, dream about where you can be, and stay positive as you make it happen.
Think About Your Vulnerabilities as a Social Entrepreneur—and Be Okay With Them
One of the first things you can do to determine the vulnerabilities that exist in your social enterprise of the first things you can do to determine your social enterprise’s vulnerabilities is to reflect on some of your own. It’s okay to fall short in certain areas or know you have room for improvement.
So, take the time to evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and specific traits, behaviours, or skills that can be optimised to get there.
Look For (and Embrace) Skill Gaps in Your Team
Just as you have gaps in your ability to perform for the success of your social enterprise, so does your team.
In the impact world, we likely face difficulties that come with having limited resources and finances. This is okay. However, you can take the time to look at some of these skill gaps and determine the best ways to correct them. Instead of sweeping any of these vulnerabilities under the rug, come to terms with them and realise that they are part and parcel of being a changemaker.
Where Can Your Board Improve?
Just like with yourself and your team, there are sure to be some potential improvement areas for your board. Building a great advisory board is no easy feat. Periodically take some time to evaluate your board. Every board has vulnerabilities at some point, and there’s no better time than the present to come to terms with them. Do you have different people coming from different backgrounds? Are all perspectives included? Do you meet in a way that’s effective for growth? Your board certainly has vulnerabilities, and there’s no better time than the present to come to terms with them.
Benefits of Embracing Your Vulnerabilities
It shows that you’re human.
We all make mistakes. We all have vulnerabilities. When people (your team, community, partners, and supporters) can relate and connect with you on this emotional level, they’ll likely find it easier to trust and support you.
A vulnerability-embracing leader is a better leader.
You’ll likely be viewed as a better leader by coming to terms with some of your vulnerabilities and sharing them with your team. Not only will this set the stage for other people in your organisation to evaluate and embrace some of their vulnerabilities, but it will also help them feel better about themselves and the organisation.
According to a Harvard Business School researcher, when teams feel psychologically safe, they enjoy their work more and perform better.
Being aware of vulnerabilities can help you improve.
Being open to the areas where you need to improve is an excellent first step towards making changes to improve yourself, your team, and your social enterprise.
Sure, it may require some uncomfortable digging into your strengths, weaknesses, behaviours, practices, and background, but this is important for continuing to grow as a social entrepreneur.
Vulnerability breeds creativity.
One commonly overlooked benefit of embracing your vulnerability is that it can lead to great content that helps you connect with your online audience. We’re exposed to many images and stories of people succeeding through social media, but what people genuinely connect to are stories of vulnerability.
While a superhero story might put a quick smile on your face, it is well documented that we’re more likely to connect when we are exposed to real-life struggles on social media. So, don’t be afraid to bare it all online—not just the wins.
Being vulnerable and connecting with others goes hand-in-hand.
When it comes to addressing vulnerability, there’s no better solution than connecting with people and organisations who can support you and share their own stories of vulnerability. This is one of the best ways to pick up on new skills, perspectives, or opportunities to help you grow and overcome some of the vulnerabilities that exist in your social enterprise.