Book Summary - Dare To Lead By Brene Brown
About the Author
Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation - Brene Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She is the author of multiple New York Times best-selling books including Dare to Lead, a culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership. Her Ted Talk - The Power of Vulnerability - is one of the most viewed.
Have you been wondering how you could become a more effective leader?
Have the traditional tactics you’ve been trying failing you?
Does the title of your job dictate your leadership or does the power come from within? Something untapped?
In “Dare To Lead” Brene Brown gives us the secrets of what makes a successful leader. Brown taps into our deepest emotions including fear, passion, and the ability to trust to dig deep into what makes us tick as humans and as leaders. And, how we can utilize our emotions to become a top leader.
Whoever thought a leader was supposed to be vulnerable?
“When we become disembodied from our emotions to the point that we literally don't recognize which physical feelings are connected to which emotional feelings, we don't gain control, we lose it.” - Brene Brown
This insight from Brown will change the way you have thought about our great leaders of the past. And, it will challenge you to tap into your boss side!
Vulnerability Is A Strength
We’ve always thought that vulnerability was a weakness. But, powerful leaders actually use their vulnerable side to achieve greatness.
No one likes to feel exposed or vulnerable, but it’s a part of life we must accept. And, as humans we conquer the anxiety and the fear of feeling vulnerable and go on with our lives, thus overcoming it. So, it doesn’t make sense to categorize vulnerability with weakness if we are using our powers to continue on with our lives. Wouldn’t that be a victory?
“You can't get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability. Embrace the suck.” - Brene Brown
You cannot be courageous without being vulnerable first. There is nothing courageous about going on a boat for a first date. However, if you’ve been known to get sea sickness, taking a trip on that boat is mighty courageous...but, maybe a poor decision too!
Courageous Leaders Love Honesty
We all know the truth hurts sometimes. Nobody likes to be told they are doing a bad job or that they are disappointing people. But, courageous leaders who don’t mind being true and vulnerable love the honest feedback.
Successful leaders understand that being clear, upfront, and totally honest is not always easy to hear, but it makes them more productive in the end.
Active listening to their followers and being open and honest about their own fears will help leaders work effectively and reach their highest potential.
It’s All About Core Values
Sometimes leading a team is hard. It’s full of the fight for power and opposing views However, value is what motivates leaders to keep fighting the fight in order to lead their team to victory.
That’s why in times of struggle and uncertainty, leaders look to their core values to help them keep their eyes on the prize. If they are uncertain of their next move, keeping the goal in mind will lead them on a creative journey of problem-solving.
As a leader, it’s important to focus on no more than two values. For example, protecting a company’s image and producing a quality product. If you focus on more than two values, it will be hard to really keep your goal in mind when faced with a problem. Your values will be too widespread to really narrow down on the issue and go at it.
Trust Is A Must
You can’t be a successful leader if people don’t trust you. There are a few factors that go into trust that Brown explains to us in a fun acronym.
Boundaries: It’s important to respect the boundaries of others.
Reliability: Keeping our promises.
Accountability: Taking responsibility for our actions.
Vault: Keeping confidential information a secret.
Integrity: Choosing to be courageous, even when it’s hard.
Non-Judgement: Allowing people to be open and honest with you.
Generosity: See the best in others, not the worst.
Be Good At Failing
Being good at failing is a wonderful trait when it comes to being a successful leader. When someone can remain resilient by picking themselves back up after a major failure, there is nothing in the world that can hold them back. Failing and throwing in the towel is no way for a leader to gain respect.
“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.” - Brene Brown
A true leader learns quickly to be good at facing shame while fixing the issue in which they failed at. Coping while being criticized for being a failure is difficult to master, but good leaders understand that they must make a fast recovery.
Leaders Are Not Perfect
The idea that a leader has to be perfect to lead is utterly ridiculous. We are all humans, whether we are in-charge or not, so you best believe it’s ok for leaders to make mistakes too.
As a successful leader, you must put down your walls and be vulnerable and genuine. That means getting rid of the crazy idea of perfectionism. Perfectionists, by nature, aim to please people. But, a good leader cannot please everyone all the time. They must stick to their core values.
The Main Take-Away
When we let ourselves be vulnerable and genuine we become courageous leaders. By allowing ourselves to be real people and not perfect idols, we gain the motivation to go through with self-improvement. Emotions should be present in leadership at all times!