Dare to Lead:
Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

| Author: Brené Brown, 2018 |

What’s it all about?
One of my favorite questions to ask a leader who is struggling to develop an employees is: ‘What was their response when you sat one-on-one to discuss the performance gap openly?’ Time and time again, I get the response that they ‘kind of’ mentioned it and the employee ‘should know’. You can’t fix what you are not willing to expose! Want to build some skills and understand how to nail this? Well, what we have here is a playbook for developing the ability to create brave leaders and courageous cultures.
In this book, ‘Dare to Lead’, Brené Brown took her previous books and 20 years of research and, in my opinion, created a ‘how to’ manual for leadership. It is laid out with her own personal journey of failing and getting back up again. At her base she is a vulnerability and shame expert, both of which really drive strong leadership behaviours. I agree with her notion that our ability to be daring leaders will never be greater than our capacity for vulnerability. How do you get there? In this book she goes into detail on the foundational skill set of ‘Rumbling with Vulnerability’.
This is followed up with the other three main skill sets – Living into Our Values, Braving Trust, and Learning to Rise. My research on emotional intelligence is the reason I genuinely connected to her. It gave me a deeper understanding of self-awareness and knowing ‘how we show up’ is near and dear to my ‘Manufacturing Leadership Model’.

Favorite Quote

‘Leaders must invest a reasonable amount of time attending to fears and feelings or squander an unreasonable amount of time trying to manage ineffective and unproductive behaviour.’

Biggest takeaway

I love the concepts around ‘The Arena’.  It got me thinking more about the clients I choose to work with, and criticism I get that is helpful.  If your values are way outside of mine, and you are not taking some of the risks I have in that past few years, then we are not playing in the same arena.  Best not to work with that individual or invest in their opinions.

What really blew me away was deepening my understanding of Empathy versus Sympathy.  Humbling, because it made me reflect on what a jerk I have been in the past, and empowering, because this read has given me some new skills to improve my behaviours in this area.  I often talk about these differences in classes, and this book really complements my training and coaching.  If you are ready to take off some armour and jump in the arena, have a read!

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel