Tracy Young, the founder and CEO of a successful startup, gave a talk for TED in which she highlights the impact vulnerability has had on her career.
Young begins her talk by looking back on the beginning of her career, when she was reluctant to act as she typically would in order to maintain a filtered version of herself that she felt would be more respected in the workplace by her male counterparts. She notes how she would go as far as rehearsing her jokes before a meeting to make sure she didn't make a mistake, or working 14-hour days when she was 9 months pregnant to prove that she was dedicated to her work.
As Young continues to explain, her desire to never show any vulnerability negatively impacted her life, and eventually caused her to hit a wall—which made her finally reassess how she carried herself around her colleagues. When she stopped trying to fill the role of someone she wasn't and was honest with her team, she found herself become more connected with her colleagues than ever before, which in turn also led to a more positive culture. Young also was able to be more transparent about the successes and failures of the company with her team, which resulted in more candid conversations that helped to take it to the next level.