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Leading with Vulnerability

Unlock Your Greatest Superpower to Transform Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization

Morgan, Jacob


1. Auflage Oktober 2023
288 Seiten, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-89524-4
John Wiley & Sons

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How do some of the world's top leaders unlock the potential of others, create trust, and lead through change?

Jacob started out with one basic question: Is vulnerability the same for leaders as it is for everyone else? It turns out that it's not. On August 20, 1991, Hollis Harris, the CEO of struggling Continental Airlines told his 42,000 employees to pray for the future of the company. The next day he was fired. What Hollis did was vulnerable, but it was not leadership.

While vulnerability cripples some leaders, others tap into it and use it as a superpower. Vulnerability alone makes leaders seem incompetent. Competence on its own makes it hard for leaders to connect with their people. The key is to develop both competence and vulnerability, what Jacob calls "The Vulnerable Leader Equation."

Based on over 100 CEO interviews and a survey of nearly 14,000 employees, renowned leadership thought leader and futurist Jacob Morgan shares candid stories and original research that shows how leaders can tap into vulnerability to transform themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

This book will show you why it's so crucial to lead with vulnerability and how to do it well. You will learn:
* The difference between being vulnerable and leading with vulnerability
* The 5 vulnerable leader superheroes
* What makes leaders feel most vulnerable at work and why
* The ROI of leading with vulnerability
* The 8 attributes of vulnerable leaders
* What happens when vulnerability is used against you
* How to climb the "vulnerability mountain"
* What keeps leaders from being vulnerable at work and how to overcome it

Leading With Vulnerability is not just a book to share with your leaders and your co-workers. It's an invitation to a paradigm-shifting adventure. Nothing like this has been written before and, after reading it, you'll never look at leadership the same way again.

Foreword xiii

Introduction: Where It All Began 1

I Who Is a Weak Vulnerable Leader? 9

1 Panic! 11

2 The Vulnerable Leader Equation 21

3 Why Lead with Vulnerability? 41

4 Tough Guys 61

5 How Are You Feeling? 67

6 The Land of the Goods 75

7 Thick Skin but Not Armor 81

8 How People Become Vulnerable Leaders 85

II What Prevents Leaders From Being Vulnerable at Work? 93

9 Why Don't We Have More Superheroes? 95

10 Breaking the Leadership Stereotype 99

III What Makes Leaders Feel Vulnerable? 111

11 The 10 Vulnerability Signs 113

12 It Takes One to Know One 131

13 I Saw the Sign! 135

14 The Sprinter and the Gymnast 141

15 What We Got Wrong About Milgram's Experiment 149

16 The Four Types of Questions 155

IV What Happens to Leaders When They Are Vulnerable? 167

17 Getting Past the Defense! 169

18 Critical Moments 173

19 What Does Vulnerability Feel Like? 185

V How to Lead with Vulnerability 197

20 Unlocking your Superpower 199

21 The Five Vulnerable Leader Superheroes 201

22 The Eight Attributes of Vulnerable Leaders 211

23 The Vulnerability Wheel 237

24 The Vulnerability Mountain 249

Notes 257

Acknowledgments 261

About the Author 263

Index 265
"This is a well-researched, compelling book about something we spend far too little time thinking about: Being human. It works."
--Seth Godin, Author, The Song of Significance

"Jacob takes a wonderfully thorough look at one of the most important - and lacking - qualities in leaders. And he does so with a raw and honest approach that makes his point all the more powerful(!)"
--Patrick Lencioni Best-selling Author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Six Types of Working Genius

"Vulnerability, in today's complex, uncertain world, is simply a fact. Good leaders don't shy away from, but instead acknowledge and embrace this reality. Backed by a study of 100 CEOs and a survey of 14,000 employees, Jacob has put together an invaluable resource to help leaders navigate vulnerability to achieve more, build trust, and drive performance."
--Amy C. Edmondson, Professor, Harvard Business School; Author, Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well and The Fearless Organization

"Given all the blather about authentic and vulnerable leadership, some take it as a signal to abandon accountability and just let the world know how you're feeling. According to Jacob, what you want is the combination of vulnerability PLUS leadership - as in "I don't know, but here's our plan for how we're going to find out." This book offers many wonderful examples and insights for how leaders can put the power of vulnerability to work. You'll never think about leadership the same way again."
--Rita McGrath, Author of Seeing Around Corners and Professor at Columbia Business School

"I applaud Jacob for pushing us all to understand that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to vulnerability. The insights and experiences from these leaders have the potential to strike a nerve no matter your title or tenure."
--Michael Miebach, CEO, Mastercard

This book is a serious game-changer, because we've been thinking about leadership all wrong. Whether you're a CEO of a Fortune 500 or an entrepreneur with a team of two, Leading with Vulnerability is packed with strategies and practical tools to help you become a leader who knows how to make an impact."
--Mel Robbins, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, and Host of The Mel Robbins Podcast

"This book is a game-changer for current and aspiring leaders. Jacob provides readers with a treasure trove of insights on how to connect with team members, unlock potential, and drive business performance. I wish I had this book when I was entering the business world!"
--Frank Blake, Former Chairman & CEO at The Home Depot

"Leading with vulnerability is a superpower that many leaders struggle with. It creates human connection, trust, and unlocks the potential of those around you. This excellent book teaches leaders how to do just that. Filled with stories and research this is a must read for any leader!"
--Niren Chaudhary Chief Executive Officer, Panera Bread & Panera Brands

"Vulnerability is a topic that is uncomfortable for so many. Jacob tackles this head on with insights from CEOs to help leaders understand that vulnerability shouldn't just be discussed but also utilized as a superpower to lead through change."
--Jason McGowan, Founder & CEO, Crumbl Cookies

"Leading With Vulnerability meticulously lays out how to do the very thing that can transform companies, but which leaders are too often afraid to do."
--Robert Irvine, Celebrity Chef, Entrepreneur, and author of Overcoming Impossible

"'Leading with Vulnerability' is a masterclass in balancing the human connection with the competence needed to lead successfully in today's complex world. Jacob has artfully distilled the wisdom of over 100 CEOs and 14,000 employees into a compelling, actionable guide. This book will reshape your understanding of leadership and empower you to create deeper connections and drive greater impact. An essential read for leaders at every level."
--Erin Meyer, NYT Best-Selling Author of No Rules Rules and The Culture Map

"The leaders of today and tomorrow are discovering vulnerability as a leadership requirement and a tool for advancement in our increasingly transparent world. Jacob's insights are exactly the kind of modern and realistic thinking we need in today's business climate. As organizations adapt to the effects of AI, flexible working, and climate change, it will be the leaders who harness vulnerability rather than avoid it that will drive sustainable growth in their industries. I encourage leaders to learn from the great examples in this book and apply them rigorously."
--Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman and CEO, Baker Hughes

"Vulnerability is an integral part of leading from a place of human connection as opposed to doing so from a hierarchical place, a topic I am grateful to have discussed with Jacob Morgan for "Leading With Vulnerability." I encourage leaders and up-and-coming leaders to see what Jacob has collected as an insightful glimpse into the power of leading with vulnerability including practical examples and anecdotes."
--Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt
JACOB MORGAN is the international bestselling author of 5 books, keynote speaker, and professionally trained futurist. His passion and mission is to create great leaders, engaged employees, and future-ready organizations. Jacob is also the host of "Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan," one of the world's most popular leadership podcasts. His work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Unilever, Cisco, Mastercard, Nestlé, Best Buy, SAP, KPMG, T-Mobile, Audi, Kaiser Permanente, and many others. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his amazing wife Blake, their two kids, and their two dogs. You can learn more about Jacob, contact him, and get access to his content by visiting