Issue 102 - 05 | Being Vulnerable: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer

By J.C. Carleson
Published Feb. 13, 2013 12:00 p.m.
“The typical corporate environment may not be quite as fraught with danger as the realm of spies, but that doesn’t negate the value of understanding the impact of emotions on decisions and performance. So, for a moment, let’s loosen the ban we tend to enforce on expressing emotions in the workplace. Drop the barricade between the numbers and the feelings. Stop denying those aspects of human behavior that we, as leaders, feel we MUST deny. You can’t lead if you’re ‘soft’, right?

But you also can’t influence what you pretend doesn’t exist. Embrace vulnerability, if only to understand why your clients are vulnerable to wooing from your competitor. To see just how vulnerable your boss is to the pressure to give the other guy the promotion, instead of you. To know how vulnerable your best employees are to job offers from other companies.”

About J.C. Carleson | In 2001, J.C. Carleson left the corporate world to become an undercover CIA officer. She spent nine years conducting clandestine operations around the globe before trading the real world of espionage for writing about espionage.
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