Recognising & Harnessing Vulnerability for Organisational Success

Recognising & Harnessing Vulnerability for Organisational Success
Successful leaders who have recognised vulnerability and have consciously risen over it, have been able to amplify it for growth. 

We often hear about vulnerability and its various manifestations. There was a time when being vulnerable was seen as a weakness. Over time, this perception has changed, and today, vulnerability is perceived more as a reflection of one’s abilities, thereby encouraging a rethink, reorientation and calibration.

Vulnerability is to rise above – rise above one’s insecurities, fears, and shortcomings – by first recognising and accepting that these are there and then working on them to rise above. Professional help can be sought from mentors, coaches, and friends for this. Once situational vulnerability is recognised, accepted, and worked upon, collaboration becomes easier and it also results in increased agility.

In this context, it is important to understand the concept of energy that powers the universe. It is reflective of efforts, perspectives, success, resilience, initiatives and is the primal driving force. Energy can never be fought against, it should rather be channelised for growth and prosperity. Successful leaders who have recognised vulnerability and have consciously risen over it, have been able to amplify it for growth. 

Energy represents motion. In the words of P.V. Narasimha Rao, Former Prime Minister of India, “If you understand that where you are standing is itself in motion, the turning becomes easier. You are not static. Never static.” Energy is the life force that propels every living being. It is universal. 

In the organisational context, energy represents itself in the potential of people and the opportunities for growth. Understanding energy is crucial for moving forward. Energy can never be destroyed; it can only be channelised. Energy is both positive and negative and this depends on our thoughts. Our thoughts are the power plant that channelise energy into either constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

Growth-oriented leadership is a manifestation of positive energy and its channelisation towards achievement of organisational purpose and objectives. It has a multiplier effect, thereby generating sustainable profits which contribute to the overall well-being of the organisational ecosystem and its stakeholders. On the other hand, negative energy manifests itself by way of control mechanisms emanating from insecurities and questionable abilities,  thereby limiting thought, focus, innovation, growth, achievement, and sustainability.

Energy also represents situational understanding and channelisation of individual energies into collective energies which act as a propeller for success. Agility represents the successful harnessing of positive energy towards goal achievement. Speed is reflective of energy, but speed alone isn’t enough; it is velocity that is important. For an organisation to be successful, it is important to understand energy and its flow and then harness it to ensure achievement of the stated goals. 

I believe that Jack Welch’s 4E framework can be interpreted in today’s context in overcoming vulnerability and channelising energy towards growth and achievement.

  • Energy: The ability to recognise opportunities for change and thrive on action. Be outgoing in nature and facilitate conversations. Not having a cribbing attitude, but rather recognising the positive in every situation and moving forward with available resources.
  • Energise: Galvanise others to the cause and ensure action. This comes from a deep understanding of the business and a personal commitment to growth. Energisers are typically people who do not manipulate situations, but rather understand perspectives, know when and how to adjust the sails and steer the ship towards the port.
  • Edge: Being decisive is to recognise vulnerability, i.e., if you can take decisions, they may go right or wrong, but you have the ability to take a call. You know when to stop the situational analysis and take that shot. Having the edge means being agile, and agility is growth.
  • Execute: Strategy means nothing if there’s no plan of execution. It is the ability to get things done – roll up your sleeves and do the job, if required. You may have the energy, you may be able to energise and have the edge, but if you can’t execute in a timely and contextual manner, it means nothing. Execution is a skill which one has to develop and sharpen. Those who execute despite speed breakers, potholes, diversions are the ones who know that winning is about achieving the numbers.

The practical application of the above needs to be meticulously followed through tailored training programs woven with the organisational values/ mission/ ethos. The leadership, through communication, has to ensure that it percolates and is practised by everyone.

A governance mechanism and monitoring structure will also help to ensure agility. Above all, the leadership, through its own behaviours, has to reflect these in daily work. 

Views expressed in this article are personal.

Note: We are also on WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and YouTube, to get the latest news updates, Join our Channels. WhatsApp– Click hereto subscribe to YouTube – Click Here, and for LinkedIn– Click Here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here