Photography by John Goldstein
Often mistaken for weakness, vulnerability is at the heart of authentic leadership and an important building block in creating a strong, healthy and safe workplace culture.
This was one of several insights highlighted during a panel discussion in front of a sold-out crowd during Canadian Grocer’s Star Women in Grocery Awards ceremony in Toronto last week.
Six of this year’s winners took on a range of topics during the hour-long chat—moderated by editor-in-chief Shellee Fitzgerald—including the importance of accepting feedback, the challenges of being a working parent and treating vulnerability as an asset.
Bonnie Birollo said vulnerability became her strength when the pandemic hit nine days into her role as SVP, retail operations at Sobeys, and she was faced with unprecedented challenges. “I knew nothing, some in this room would say I still know nothing,” said Birollo, with a laugh.
“However, thanks to the amazing people around me and my ability to accept that I was the least smart person in the room, I had team members from all over the place who gave me the feedback, the knowledge [and] the strength to make it through some tough days.”