The Role of Vulnerability in Culture

Allowing vulnerability into your company culture is the first step in getting healthy from the inside out. It brings you closer to your customers and to your employees and deepens understanding all around. Vulnerability takes leaders outside of the overall organizational culture where vision and strategy reside and into the sub-cultures of departments and teams where day-to-day reality lives—and where your major focus should be. This concept is from author Curt Coffman’s “Big C” and “Little C”. Today, dynamic leadership means managing change effectively, which depends on cultures that embrace vulnerability, ensure cultural fit, and build respect.

  • When was the last time you compared “Big C” and “Little C” cultures in your organization? How do you handle managers and supervisors who are not aligned with your cultural vision and values? How do you reinforce the behaviors that support your vision and values?
  • What tools do you use to ensure that you hire the right people? How do you measure the alignment, attitude, and motivation of candidates? What development and training do you provide employees you plan to promote to managerial positions, to ensure they have the skills and attitude to succeed as “Little C” leaders?
  • How would you rate your leadership communication, including feedback from employees on their “Little C” reality? How well do you communicate expectations? How much autonomy do you allow employees? How often do you recognize, reward, and celebrate success? What can you do to improve communication in these areas?


Kathleen is an accomplished performer, business owner and leader. Find out more. about how she can help you attract and retain your most valuable asset – people.