Vulnerability & Transparency at Work: How Much is Too Much?

Tutti Taygerly
6 min readApr 22, 2021
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

In tech companies and startups, we’ve heard about and practice modern leadership with radical candor, transparency, and vulnerability. We want to bring our whole selves to work and be an authentic leader. We want to do this while delivering on impact and performance to the company.

But does being transparent and vulnerable work all the time? How much is too much? What if the company isn’t set up with the right performance incentives to enable authenticity? What if the company has set up a system of cross-org competition that rewards aggressive behavior? What if the particular person, or group of people I have to interact with are truly a$$holes?

Aside from delivering impactful work with a sense of purpose, high performing employees in tech also derive fulfillment from harmonious interactions with the people around them. People want:

  • Collaborative, trusting relationships with their managers, their team, and their cross-functional peers
  • The ability to express their authentic opinions and have their voices heard
  • Recognition and appreciation for their effort

Often vulnerability and transparency are the first tools used to grow these relationships at work, but they can be overused and put people in an exposed place.



Tutti Taygerly

Leadership coach & champion of difficult people; designer of human experiences; ex-Facebook; surfer, traveller, mom;