The concept of vulnerability can seem touchy-feely to many business leaders. Despite Brené Brown’s now famous TED Talk, “vulnerability” still conjures what many consider horror images of talking about your feelings with coworkers, gazing at your belly button for hours or singing “kumbaya” around the campfire.
Thankfully, Patrick Lencioni’s book “Getting Naked” takes the concept of vulnerability and makes it practical for business leaders. He shares how to embrace humility and transparency for the benefit of the people you serve. It’s a philosophy he calls “naked service.”
Whether you’re a credit union executive leading a staff of 50 or a community bank teller working on the frontlines with customers everyday, this philosophy completely changes how you play the game.
To get you started, here are three questions the book encourages you to ask:
1. What fears are holding your team back?
Lencioni identifies three fears holding back most customer service businesses:
- The fear of losing the business
- The fear of being embarrassed
- The fear of feeling inferior
These fears are all subconscious, making them even more dangerous. When you’re operating under these fears, you miss opportunities to grow. You look out for yourself more than those you serve, whether that’s your staff, fellow employees or members/customers.
And when you lose sight of those you serve, it’s not long before they lose sight of you…and ultimately choose to go somewhere else.
2. Does your team trust each other?
To live the naked service principles Lencioni teaches, your team must trust each other. There can’t be competition between different dogs trying to climb to the top of the pack (although healthy, fun-natured competition is good for everyone!). You must trust each other.
For example, when someone on your team makes a mistake, what kind of support do they have? Are they coached and guided in the right direction, or are they left to fend for themselves? Can you all laugh about the mistake months down the road?
Vulnerability requires trust. The more your team trusts each other, the more willing they are to take risks. The more risks they take, the more wins you’ll have.
3. What are you willing to give to gain member or customer loyalty?
We all have an ego bigger than we’re willing to admit. Are you willing to sacrifice that ego for the benefit of your members or customers? Can you admit when you’re wrong?
In the banking world, we have the privilege of serving people in one of the most vulnerable areas of life: finances. They come to us at their highest highs and their lowest lows. If you do it right, they’ll stick with you for life.
But that kind of loyalty only comes when you put their needs before your own…which requires letting go of your ego.
Want to talk through these “Getting Naked” principles with your team in a guided setting? We’d be honored to guide your team through that discussion in a leadership training module. Click here to book your free consultation today.