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What Puts High Achievers at Risk?

12/09/2011 01:53 pm ET | Updated Feb 08, 2012

It is critical to the careers and business success of high achievers to be able to connect to and understand how to use their sense of vulnerability. You are at risk until you engage this critical sense.

Here's why:

1. In spite of popular opinion vulnerability is not a weakness. It's a key survival mechanism. To go into today's business arena without a keen sense and awareness of it, is setting yourself up for failure.

2. Notice I used the phrase 'sense of ' vulnerability. Activating your senses and keeping them finely tuned is very different than exposing yourself up without discernment.

3. In affecting a simple reframe of your perspective on vulnerability you will give yourself a cutting edge advantage every time you encounter a new situation where no relevant data can be found-which is an apt descriptor for the present environment we find ourselves in. The only way to connect to the level of innovation that current circumstances demand, to see clearly where you really are and to prevent you from spinning your wheels on less than effective solutions, new resources are required. You have an untapped, already-paid-for wealth of them in your instinctual intelligence system.

The more accomplished we are, the more hidden our Achilles heel is. You want to move from your comfort in success to your readiness for your next big thing. You want to rely on yourself to consistently continue to make intelligent, innovative decisions every time the status quo is being threatened. Yet when we don't have all the critical information, it's too easy to decide based on protection and defense. We react instead of respond. A new perspective is required to see the new criteria necessary to inform the moment at hand. When we have a lot to lose, it's very tempting to reach for what has worked in the past.

So how do we step into a no-loss zone? How do we hit the pause button long enough to explore a new possibility without everything going up in flames.? The answer will be found in your ability to activate vulnerability. Maintaining your current approach will simply hide your ability to foresee what's coming next and cost you your ability to discern what in the current environment is threatening to hold you back. It takes courage to be vulnerable. Yet it is the ultimate strength and your best secret weapon.

Considering a reframe and gaining a new understanding of this sense of vulnerability is one of the key components and most remarked upon aspects of the work we bring people through.

High achievers are put in a context where their familiar tools are meaningless. They are lead to discover their own devices usually buried deep within themselves: a more instinctual aspect of their intelligence. This aspect is what is required every time you meet any unknown circumstance and is the only thing that will allow you to navigate through it with minimal risk. The risk quickly becomes evident as your tolerance for the status quo. When we learn and allow ourselves to sense vulnerability we are accessing not only a deeper aspect of our intelligence but we are able to connect and communicate on a deeper level with those around us. This is critical in today's economic climate. By tapping into this deeper awareness leaders can cause a higher level of performance from their teams and from themselves.

By accessing and connecting with your own sense of vulnerability you will be able to understand what in you, others are connecting to-or not. You will be able to affect more change with less effort and greater results.

Today is it virtually impossible to get honest, accurate feedback on your performance without some sort of agenda or filter. Which is what makes seeking feedback risky. Which is what prohibits us from taking ourselves fully to the next level as achievers. With our sense of vulnerability intact we no longer need an outside monitoring system. We are able to monitor and calibrate ourselves to our next level of potential without it. This resource, wired into each and every one of us, is what will set you ahead of any curve and give you the ability to dodge those curve balls that seem to be around each and every one of the corners we encounter today. It is a tool that only a foolhardy leader would venture out without. Learning to tap into the untapped natural resources in yourself and your team can afford you a wealth of new criteria to redirect any trajectory you are looking to change and few are harnessing currently. Which affords you the leading edge to explore this highly effective methodology.

How many mistakes or miscommunications could have been prevented in the simple understanding of how you or your teams were truly being perceived?

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