Jan. 9, 2019

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown: Empathy, courage and sh1tty first drafts

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About the Author

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.

Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.

(Source: https://brenebrown.com/media-kit/)


About the Book

Dare to Lead is the fifth New York Times bestseller from Brene. In the book she digs into what it means to be human and how at work this fact is (too) often avoided. We regularly settle for comfort over courage and avoid the real conversations that make progress possible.


She builds on her previous work on empathy vs sympathy, shame vs guilt and vulnerability vs oversharing to bring them into a leadership and workplace context.


Brene shares multiple examples of ‘tough crowds’ she’s worked with, from those in military uniforms to those in corporate suits, and made the concepts real to them in their organisations.


Because ultimately we’re all just people, people, people.


BIG IDEA 1 (2:32) -  Empathy connects us. A vital part of empathy is curiosity. You don’t have to have to experienced the same exact scenario to be empathetic with someone. Everyone of us has experience so many emotions in our life , whether we are aware of it or not, we’ve all experienced loss, grief, embarrassment, shame or guilt.  Through curiosity we can connect with people.


Brene also makes a point that empathy is the antidote of shame because when we become empathetic, we remove shame.


BIG IDEA 2 (4:51) - Grounded confidence. This is not being ‘big headed’ but knowing what you are capable of, come back to that, reflect and move forward. It is also self compassion; knowing you are enough and taking away the judgement of yourself. When you have the confidence to know how you feel in a certain situation, then you’ll be able to move forward.


Knowing and having confidence in your own values also helps you overcome challenging situations. It’s the awareness of these values that helps you decide how to react in certain situations. When teamed with curiosity and empathy, grounded confidence will help you have better conversations with those around you.

BIG IDEA 3 (6:12) - Rumbling with vulnerability. This is about embracing the suck because there’s no courage without vulnerability. Brene’s work shows that vulnerability is not about gratuitous oversharing but about putting yourself out there in such a way the you may be subject to criticism or challenge.  Which might suck. Opening yourself that allows you to be brave by showing courage; and courage creates more courage.


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