"I have to tell you I am scared"
Vulnerability is not dirty word.
Regardless of your role within a corporation, being open with your thoughts and feelings, especially in key business communications, is an essential skill. One that cements the role of the leader, especially, with his or her broader team.
We saw a real world illustration of this with Dara Khosrowshahi's appointment as CEO of Uber. In his parting memo to his team at Expedia, he informed them of his decision to take the role at Uber, how difficult it was and made a startling admission:
“I have to tell you I am scared. I’ve been here at Expedia for so long that I’ve forgotten what life is like outside this place. But the times of greatest learning for me have been when I’ve been through big changes, or taken on new roles — you have to move out of your comfort zone and develop muscles that you didn’t know you had.”
In a business world that all too often stresses machismo and the need for supreme unwavering confidence, the statement was refreshing in what it said about Dara's personal style, his openness and what it said for the culture he plans to develop at Uber.
The fact is, that real leaders aren't afraid to show vulnerability. Real leaders aren't afraid to admit they don't know the exact path forward. Real leaders aren't held back by their insecurities and don't foster environments with such insecurities as its foundation.
In this message, at least, we can all take a lesson.
I don't know much about Dara but I'm eager to see what he does.
So far, so good, though.