Title, position and authority don’t automatically translate into power and influence, says “turnaround specialist” Rick Miller in a recent guest post on the blog Great Leadership. Instead, he suggests that leaders looking to connect with new teams might benefit by showing their own vulnerability.

Miller says he learned this lesson after he took over as a unit president at AT&T, overseeing 10,000 employees. He initially had a problem engaging some members of his new team because they viewed him as an outsider—a corporate officer who was somehow insulated from the problems that impacted regular employees.

Miller took a chance and did something he had never done before: He shared his personal history as a cancer survivor. Revealing his own vulnerability helped to reassure employees that he understood their concerns and anxieties regarding the importance of health insurance and the impact of the company’s voluntary retirement programs. Miller says being vulnerable allowed him to connect with his team so he could work to effect change.

See the full post: “The Power in Vulnerability”