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, and it’s important to remember that you don’t have all the answers, nor do you need to do everything on your own. We know that sometimes, the most difficult thing to do is accept your shortcomings and ask for help. To give you a leg up, we’ve come up with a few ways you can learn to embrace your social enterprise’s vulnerability.
What Are Your Social Enterprise’s Vulnerabilities?
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 your social enterprise’s vulnerabilities is to determine some of your own. It’s okay to fall short in certain areas or know that you personally have room for improvement.
So, take the time to evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and certain 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 own ability to perform for the best success of your social enterprise, so does your team as a whole.
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 best ways to correct them. Instead of brushing any of these vulnerabilities under the rug, come to terms with them and realise that 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 areas of improvement when it comes to your board. Building a great advisory board is no easy feat, and even once you have one established, you may not notice vulnerabilities like you do during day-to-day activities with your team.
Every once in a while, take some time to really evaluate your board. 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.
By coming to terms with some of your vulnerabilities and sharing them with your team, you’ll likely be viewed as a better leader. Not only will this set the stage for other people in your organisation to evaluate and embrace some of their own vulnerabilities, but it will also help them feel better about themselves and the organisation as a whole.
According to a Harvard Business School researcher, when teams feel psychologically safe, they’re likely to enjoy their work more and perform better.
Being aware of vulnerabilities can help you improve.
Being open to the areas in which you know you need to improve is a good first step towards actually making changes to make yourself, your team, and your social enterprise better.
Sure, it may require some uncomfortable deep 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 of the commonly overlooked benefits of embracing your vulnerability is that it can actually lead to really great content that helps you connect with your online audience. Through the major social media platforms, we’re exposed to many images and stories of people succeeding, but what we really connect to our stories of vulnerability.
It’s well understood that while a superhero story might put a quick smile on your face when we’re exposed to struggles on social media, we’re more likely to connect. 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 that can help you grow and overcome some of your social enterprise’s vulnerabilities.