Great Leaders Show Vulnerability

“We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you.”

2 Corinthians 6:11 (NLT)

Paul, who wrote about half of the New Testament, was one of the greatest leaders who ever lived. He is also a great example of vulnerability.

In one of his letters, Paul said, “We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you” (2 Corinthians 6:11 NLT). Having an “open heart” means being vulnerable—in the way you talk, act, share, and feel.

To be an effective leader like Paul was, you need to learn to be vulnerable. Here are some practical steps you can take as a leader to become more vulnerable and authentic.

A true leader admits their frustrations.
When Paul was at one of his lowest moments, he didn’t bottle it up and buck up. Instead, he spoke up about the hard time he was having, using words like “crushed,” “overwhelmed,” and even “doomed.”

“We . . . saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God” (2 Corinthians 1:9 TLB). In being honest about his frustration, Paul emphasized God’s power in his life.

A true leader admits their faults and failures.
“There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5 GNT). Someone may be well-known, but if they can’t admit their faults, then they’re not really a leader.

Everybody makes mistakes. Even Paul could admit that he was “the worst of all sinners.” You’ll probably never hear a politician say that. But a great leader is transparent about their shortcomings.

A true leader admits their fears and feelings.
Paul writes to the Corinthians, “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling . . . so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 NIV). Many people have a hard time sharing their feelings, especially their fears. If that’s you, then you’ve got to move past it! You cannot be an authentic, spiritually mature leader when you’re not open about your feelings.

It’s hard to find leaders today who are willing to be authentic and admit their frustrations, faults, and feelings. But will you choose to be a leader who opens your heart and becomes more vulnerable? When you do, you’ll find yourself leading more effectively as you lead from God’s power.

Talk It Over

  • You can’t work on your weaknesses until you identify them. Try making a list of the top 5 weaknesses in your life?
  • Think of someone you consider a great leader. How have they been open about their weaknesses?
  • Why do you think it stands out so much today when someone in a leadership position admits their weaknesses or mistakes?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.