One of my favourite quotes is from American researcher and author Brené Brown, who has proven an inspiration for me in both my personal and professional life.
She said: "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change."
To me, this quote perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the positivity and opportunity that can be achieved by acknowledging and embracing vulnerability.
Brown is an expert on vulnerability and shame, having, in her own words, fallen into these topics almost accidentally after suffering a nervous breakdown.
Her groundbreaking presentation – The Power of Vulnerability – has already been viewed more than 20 million times, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Shame, she says, is the fear of disconnection. The thought that you lack worthiness can be so crippling that it affects your interpersonal relationships, job and happiness.
"We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives," she explained in her book Daring Greatly.
According to Brown's research, the people who are capable of letting go of who they think they should be and fully exposing themselves in situations where there are no guarantees enjoy the biggest sense of belonging.
Listening to Brown's thoughts on shame was such an eye-opener for me, having worked in investment banking where any sign of vulnerability was seen as weakness.
However, I'm a huge believer in the human-to-human experience – one that emphasises compassion, empathy and harmony. And I think business is continually evolving along this path.
People crave accountability and authenticity, particularly in areas such as pension asset investing and wealth preservation. This is why honesty, transparency and integrity are the cornerstones of my business.
Fortunately, these qualities already tie in perfectly with my personality, allowing me to spur innovation and facilitate partnerships, while remaining true to my core beliefs.
If you would like to know more about Brené Brown's fascinating research into vulnerability, check out her website for more information.