I've never been a fan of Alex Salmond and yet last week, for the first time, I saw a leader I would have considered following.
It’s all down to the resignation speech he made on Friday. In his message, and his delivery of it, I saw his vulnerability.
Vulnerability is too often seen in a negative light – showing weakness, lack of dignity, of being at risk.
Yet none of these was apparent in Salmond's speech.
He talked of his pride in the campaign, the Yes voters, the high turnout to vote.
He challenged Westminster politicians to stick to their pre-referendum promises.
He acknowledged the privilege he had found it to serve as Scotland’s First Minister.
In his vulnerability he showed strength, dignity and a quiet confidence in his decisions for the future – all attributes that his bluster and bullishness had masked.
Too often business leaders fail to notice the power of being vulnerable, seeking instead to maintain a position of strength no matter what.
But the reality of being human is that we are vulnerable.
When leaders allow themselves to be vulnerable, they connect with the people they lead at a much deeper level.
They connect as human beings.
And when we connect as human beings we can communicate in a way that allows honesty, openness and engagement for all involved.
And that’s something that most business leaders I know aspire to achieve in their organisations.
Check out Brene Brown’s excellent TED talk on vulnerability – I guarantee it will bring some interesting new perspectives.
[Image courtesy of Darren Robertson at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]