349 | Vulnerability is NOT a Weakness in Leadership With Dov Baron

Have you ever heard or thought that vulnerability was a weakness? It is a prevailing thought in our world that you have to be strong and resilient. However, I believe in leadership you are strong and resilient when you are not afraid bot be vulnerable. Today, I share my interview with Dov Baron. Dov is a strong leader. He advises other leaders. He is amazing, and he shares why vulnerability is not a weakness. Take it all in and let it change you as a leader. Learn how to be vulnerable and why it is so important.

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Target Audience: Dov Baron is recognized as one of the top 100 leadership speakers to hire and corporate cultural strategist. He is the founder of “Full Monty Leadership” and a bestselling author. His latest book is Fiercely Loyal: How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent.

Vulnerability is NOT a Weakness in Leadership: The Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Leaders in the trenches and your host today is Gene Hammett.

Gene Hammett: Hi, this is Gene Hammett. I am the host of leaders in the trenches and I want to talk to you today about vulnerability. I know that’s not the normal kind of conversation that we jump into, but vulnerability is really important to you as a human being, but also as a leader. We’re going to dive into that today and what vulnerability means as a very transformational leader and someone who activates people to go beyond just doing the work to want to do to. My guest today is Dov Baron. Dov is a pistol, like he really is. Someone who brings passion to this and insight to this whole conversation of leadership, specifically in the area of activating others to take more ownership and the entrepreneur spirit. Now, if this works sounds very familiar to my work, guess what? It is very familiar. It is very much aligned, but I have dove on the show to the either because you know, I don’t see things as competition.

Gene Hammett:  I’m sure he doesn’t see me as competition. There’s enough for everyone to go around. If we can get this message to spread beyond just these little conversations into the workforce so that everyone loves Monday and everyone’s engaged in what they’re doing and they’re doing meaningful work, it really will make our lives much happier. It’ll make everything that we do as speakers, as writers, as coaches, as consultants, easier, so make sure you share the word of vulnerability and transformational leadership. Now, when I was putting this together, I realized that a lot of the things that he had said actually I lost in some kind of weird, I don’t know, interference and it was very fuzzy, so I cut off the pieces that they were fuzzy so I could get to the real heart of it. So what you were left with is the piece on vulnerability and why that’s so important, so stay tuned for that interview with Baron.

Gene Hammett:  That’s the reason I have you here Dov, because the things you’re talking about and the passion you bring to this is exactly the reason why you’re here. When you’re talking about the vulnerability piece, one of the things that came to my mind is inside that research was so deep in clear of the importance of radical transparency, being able to honestly talk to each other and that vulnerability is just a piece of that radical transparency. They kind of go like this, right?

Dov Baron: Challenges Gene, that people think that vulnerability or transparency, what they think it is and what it really is a vastly different. So they think that transparency is revealing the numbers. That’s only a piece of it. The thing that vulnerability is, I’ll tell them this, but not that. That’s not vulnerability. Yes, you need to be discerning about how you share, but you’ve got to be very clear that if you’re holding back, they will know. The one thing I love about millennials is they are fabulous bullshit meters and if you. If you’re hiding from them, they will know they. There’s an article I wrote about it on Linkedin and I talked about how they might, and they may say all kinds of Nice things. It doesn’t mean they’re not tracking for new job. Forty percent of your best people are already looking for a new job.

Gene Hammett:  Well, I’ve seen that many times inside of companies and we want to make sure that we stopped that by being the leaders that can really activate those people. So you know, this whole concept of the entrepreneur spirit is far into a lot of leaders. When you are working with them, how do you help them overcome the hesitancy of embracing that entrepreneurial way of leading?

Dov Baron: It’s again, a great question and it’s the same thing as I do with the vulnerability piece because again, if you’re over over 40, 45, you probably learned that vulnerability is a weakness and so, and you think that entrepreneurship is a betrayal inside of an organization. So the only way around it is. Again, coming back to curiosity. So I say I want you to do. We usually start with a little bit of work and say, okay, let’s just go around the room and we do it with the executive team and we say, if you didn’t work here and I wrote your a million dollar check to do your own business, what would you do? And it’s a fantasy, oh, I’d do this. Okay, cool. Now I go to them. If you could do that inside this company and have the company finance it and you had to find a.

Dov Baron:  and this is key. You had to find a way to align it with what this company’s purpose is and what it is that we do. How would you do that? And then we have these breakout groups and they work on that and they come back. Then what happens is that CEO was like, Oh my God, this is terrible. It’s something like, oh my God, this is the best idea in the world because they can see how it benefits the company. But what so often ceos and leaders are doing is they’re actually, as you said in our previous conversation, they’re managing rather than leading. And the number one job of a leader is to create more leaders, not create followers. So you, by doing it this way, you get to free them up to explore. You freed them up to share. You free them up and you’ve created an environment by just by saying million dollar check do it. And how would you do it inside of the company for? Oh, and then their own doesn’t lead is like, oh my God, this is such a great gift. Thank you.

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Gene Hammett:  No, there’s so much alignment between our work. There’s two principles that I want to share with you that you’ll get it right away. One

Gene Hammett:  of them is what I call shared goals. When leaders have conversations with, you know, beyond the company goals, the team goals, but the actual, what does that person want to know that and finding the alignment with what they want and what the company wants. That’s magic. And then the other piece behind that is really letting them own the process. What you just talked about with this million dollar exercise, you know, and it’s a good conversation for any leader to have with a direct report because of you see where they really want to, but you’re, you’re giving them an outcome and you’re going to pick. I’m going to go right into the details of it because you said, now if you had this million dollars, how could you do it within alignment with what we do as a business. Go find that puzzle and that’s what really triggers them. Because when they own the goal and they own the process, they have deep ownership across everything they do.

Gene Hammett:  They’re not going to blame you when it doesn’t work out because it’s what they came up with and you can’t give someone a step by step in there. So I go off and take a little bit of control there, but I just, I love the work that you’re, you’re coming up with when you were talking about vulnerability and I always have a practical actual element inside these interviews and this is a little bit longer than I thought, so just give me a few minutes. If a leader was sitting down with a cup of coffee tomorrow by himself, what would he need to think about or questions he needs to ask themselves about being more vulnerable with his team and within the business?

Dov Baron:  I would ask him to him or her to ask themselves what might be the mask I’m wearing. So particularly if done leader is over 42 years old, there’s a pretty good chance that you learned what it meant to be a leader.

Dov Baron: And so when you asked the question, what might be the mascot I’m wearing, that could seem a little esoteric. So you ask what is the role that I’m in versus who I am? And if you’re not sure it’s really easy. Go home and ask your husband or your wife or your partner and just say, how do you see me and how do you think that might be different than the way that people at work see me and invariably you will get a real alliance. Well, you know, I can tell you an example. Working with a founder of an organization, the founder of the organization. I’m going to go, of course I’m not going to use this person’s name is an Ass. That’s the only word for it. He’s an ass, right? He is mean. He is disrespectful. He brings people down, he shamed them. He does all the dictatorial leadership stuff that we all hate.

Dov Baron: Kay. My wife, one of my wife’s closest friends knows him but didn’t know we knew him. She was speaking about him because they know him from a social environment and she goes, what a lovely man. How caring and supportive and whatever I’m doing, he supports me in it. How it like what is with this jekyll and Hyde nonsense. So what I’m saying here is that mass is your own insecurity. And what if the other side, the side that you share with the people you love is your greatest leadership strength. Sit down and ask yourself this. Where have you made your strength or weakness when you’ve told yourself, for instance, vulnerabilities or weakness? One, if it’s not, what if it’s a strength? What if you told yourself, opening up and learning to listen is a weakness. Leaders go first, encourage and last in speech. Remember that? Speak last, act first.

Gene Hammett:  Well, I love this work that we’re doing. You know, this question gets better and better as I’m upping the ante with people like you on the show Dov, of knowing leaders have a recipe for what tomorrow is. So if you’re listening to this right now, ask yourself that question. What are you wearing? So now, thanks for being here on the show. I want to give you a chance if they want to follow you, because you’ve got a great podcast too. We removed the ink. Lolly Daskal recognized a bunch of the top leadership podcast. And uh, you were in that list with me and tell us about your podcast.

Dov Baron:  Thank you. That’s very kind. Dov Baron’s leadership and loyalty tips for executives is the number one podcast in the world for fortune 500 listeners. You can find it, of course on Itunes, under that name. Dov Baron was leadership and loyalty tips. It’s on Roku TV ads on national radio stations across the US every Monday and Thursday on terrestrial radio stations as well. And we have phenomenal guests are. In fact, we might even have a guest by the name of, uh, what’s his name? No similar Gene Hamm, Hamilton. It’ll come to me in a minute. You’ll figure it out. Um, so you know, we have great guests on who our guests who are committed to leadership at a much deeper level. For me, it’s about the depth of the human being and the human dynamics of what you bring to leadership. So it’s a fabulous show with amazing guests from a massive range of backgrounds in leadership.

Dov Baron:  So you can find us on Itunes, you can find us on spotify, on iheart radio and all those kinds of places. And if you want to find out more about me, you can simply go to www.fullmontyleadership.com. And if you go to www.fullmontyleadership.com/gifts, gifts for you for just listening into the show. But there’s one last thing I want to say before I go. If it’s okay with you, Gene, and that’s this. And people don’t realize this. I have a podcast about mom for 10 years. You’re a podcast. You’re almost 400 episodes. People don’t know the time, the energy, the effort it takes to put these together to find amazing guests and bring them on and bring such value to people and the time and the energy it takes to do all the things that it takes because they doesn’t.

Dov Baron:  Twenty minutes folks. It isn’t even an hour. It’s multiple hours and time and energy and that we as a guest, gift it to you, the listener and Gene gives his time and all the things he does to do that. Here’s the thing I want you to do. I want you to write to Gene and tell him what you get out of the show because he’s not there with his stomach. He’s. He’s actually working hard and making time just to provide you with this value, so right to him, right to me, my private email, [email protected]. Write to me, tell me what you got out of this show while you’re going to do with it, because it is what matters. Information is worth the hole of the donut. Transformation is the application of the information. Tell me what you’re going to do with it. Tell Gene, what you’re gonna. Do it right to him, thank him for what he does, and then go on Itunes, subscribe to the show rate and review the show because we live and die by those ratings. Please go do those things and appreciate this man for what he’s doing.

Gene Hammett:  Dang, I love you. I heard you’re a good interview, but I didn’t know you’re a plan to me that. Well, we’ll, we’ll have to cut that out and make that a special part of the promotion of the video or the podcast.

Dov Baron:  Why don’t you do both. Keep it in separate.

Gene Hammett:  Oh, absolutely. We love this conversation. Leaders, I really appreciate you staying in this bar. If you’re right now, I know that you’re serious about your leadership, so thank you for being here. Leaders in the trenches, and Dov, thank you for your insights and wisdom.

Dov Baron:  My absolute pleasure. Thank you Gene.

Gene Hammett:  Now, that was such a fantastic interview. I love what I do. I love helping you, so that interview really will help you be a more transformational leader and get more done in your business and be able to create the leaders that you want inside your business.

Gene Hammett:  If you haven’t already registered for the growth culture scorecard, make sure you go to www.GeneHammett.com/culture because if you go in and use that right now, you’ll be able to have another conversation with your team about culture and about ownership and about leadership. That’s what it’s all about. It’s having these deep conversations and being vulnerable with each other and getting real. So my name is Gene Hammett. I’m excited to bring you these interviews week after week after week, and if I can do anything for you, make sure you reach out and say hello. And as always, lead with courage.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.


In this episode we’ll cover:

  • Leadership and loyalty tips
  • Leaders insights and Wisdom
  • Importance of Radical Transparency
  • The whole concept of the entrepreneur spirit
  • Vulnerability
  • Transformational leadership



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