Leadership Summit 2011 | Patrick Lencioni – Getting Naked: The Importance of Vulnerability in Service

Posted on August 12, 2011


— live notes —

People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. – Samuel Johnson

Getting Naked is about The power of Vulnerability.

Definition of vulnerable

  1. capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
  2. open to attack or damage
  3. liable to increased penalties but entitled to increased bonuses after winning a game in contract bridge

#3 is what I think it is, ’cause there are massive bonuses. We are conditioned to avoid suffering at all costs.

Three fears that keep us from being vulnerable.

1. Fear of Losing the Business. Another way to say this is the fear of being “rejected.”

Jesus was rejected. Only three people went to his funeral!

So, enter into the danger. The world is full of people/consultants that will tell people what they want them to know. We need people that will enter into the difficult and uncomfortable reality.

We must be willing to speak the truth. John Ortberg talks about “terminal niceness” in churches.

Clients and leaders are desperate for people to tell them the kind truth. Kindness comes from empathizing. Don’t be afraid to lose the company/business. Tell the kind truth. It’s dangerous, because you will not be rewarded for it.

A lot of leaders don’t like telling the kind truth, even though it’s in their best interest. It’s selfish not to tell the kind truth. The technical term is “wuss.” It takes courage to enter into the danger zone.

2. Fear of Being Embarrassed.

When we’re serving others, we have to do things that could embarrass us. We have to make suggestions that others may think that’s not wise. Our job as leaders is to ask the question.

My job is not to look smart, my job is to help them do better. And, when you’re doing that, they let you in. When you censor for your own image, they know and there is distance.

It’s really important that we ask “dumb questions.”

We also have to celebrate our mistakes.

When we acknowledge our humanity, it makes us attractive.

3. Fear of Feeling Inferior.

The last thing we want to do is put ourselves in the lowest position and have people look down at us.

We have to do the dirty work. Show people that you’re willing to do what you’re asking what other people to do. Of course, Jesus did this, washing feet. Sometimes people don’t reward you, and you will never get rewarded.

Being vulnerable is attractive, builds trust, loyalty, and is so powerful, and it’s not easy ’cause it involves suffering and pain sometimes.


We do it because we are called to be vulnerable by the most humble and vulnerable leader of all who loves us. We will get rewarded.