The Axis of Vulnerability

Last week I was in Tampa with a group of colleagues. We meet every five months or so to help each other with our business strategies, all solopreneurs like myself with advanced practices.

Almost as soon as we gathered we created a visual that we called the Axis of Vulnerability to describe our work at its best. It resides at the intersection of four attributes:

1. Practice – the application of our craft
2. Repetition – doing our work over and over again

The above two work together to create the experience pool that breeds expertise.

3. Edge – the frontier of innovation where it is impossible to practice because of its novelty
4. Mindfulness – the state of being fully present and aware

The above duo calls on our best, devoid of expectation, fully focused in the present moment.

Axis of Vulnerability

As practice and repetition go up, the ability to push the edge and maintain mindfulness goes down. As pushing the edge and mindfulness goes up, one leaves the realm of repeated application and moves more and more into the moment. The Axis of Vulnerability takes place where the forces cross over and optimizes each, at the minimum expense of the others. This is the preferred place for an expert, to be fully present and at the same time grounded in a vast repertoire of experience.

Where is your axis of vulnerability? The Axis of Vulnerability is a model you can apply to artistry, relationships and personal mastery of any type.

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

– Albert Einstein

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Transforming Associations to Meet 21st-Century ChallengesSeth Kahan is a Facilitator, Advisor, Mentor, and Speaker who helps leaders identify, influence, and leverage emerging trends for business growth. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, Project Management Institute, and NASA. His new book is, Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Leverage Inflection Points to Drive Success. His previous book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, was a business bestseller. Learn more at

Seth Kahan




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