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 Book Recommendation

Dare to lead

By Brené Brown

Brown has spent the past two decades researching vulnerability and shame. In Dare to Lead, she dispels myths about modern-day workplace and shows us that true leadership is built upon vulnerability, values, trust and resilience.


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Brown has spent the past two decades researching vulnerability and shame. In Dare to Lead, she dispels myths about modern-day workplace and shows us that true leadership is built upon vulnerability, values, trust and resilience. 

She shares, “The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

In Dare to Lead, Brown teaches us through relevant examples that leadership is not about looking strong (when you don’t feel strong); it’s about a willingness to be vulnerable. Scary situations always involve courage, and courage requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is defined in the book as the emotion that we experience during times of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

Early on in Dare to Lead, Brown introduces us to the skill, ”Rumble with vulnerability.”  She defines a rumble as “a discussion, conversation or meeting defined by a commitment to lean into vulnerability, to stay curious and generous, to stick with the messy middle of problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary, to be fearless in owning our parts.”

One of my favorite paragraphs in the book is “If you are not in the arena and getting your ass kicked on occasion, I’m not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their lives but who will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgment at those who dare greatly.  Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism and fearmongering. If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in what you have to say.”

The remaining skill sets covered in the book are:

  • Living into Our Values
  • Braving Trust
  • Learning to Rise

In Part Three, Braving Trust, Brown introduces us to seven elements of Trust, using an acronym, BRAVING:

  1. Boundary-setting. Clarifying and respecting each other’s boundaries.
  2. Reliability. You do what you say you will do.
  3. Accountability. You own your mistakes.
  4. Vault-closing. You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share.
  5. Integrity. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast or easy.
  6. Non-judgment. We can ask each other for what we need, without judgment.
  7. Generosity. You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words and actions of others.

This book is chock full of amazing content. I highly recommend you delve into it!

Recommendation by Aleta Norris

Principal and Co-Founder, Living As A Leader®

Aleta Norris is an expert leadership coach and trainer with 30 years of experience developing leaders. She is also a highly sought-after speaker for annual meetings, keynote engagements, panel discussions and networking groups.

Email Aleta Aleta's Bio

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Dare to Lead has become my new go-to book for work at the senior team level.

If you haven’t discovered author Brené Brown yet, you’re in for a treat.

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