Dare to Lead Book Review

Where to start? Another great book by Brené Brown. If you aren’t familiar with her start by watching her TED talk about vulnerability. 

Dare to Lead takes the concepts of courage and vulnerability from her previous books, updated with even more research, and applies them to organizational leadership. 

It’s an awesome book packed full of concepts to apply, research to re-assure, examples to understanding and humour to laugh. 

At it’s simplest, she outlines 4 things for being a brave leading and creating a courageous culture as she has learned courage can be learned. The context is more organizational and can be applied to any system including family. 

1. Rumble with Vulnerability – this means having real conversations even when it’s uncomfortable or you’re worried about what the other person might think. She says to rumble with curiosity (to understand the other person’ pov), generosity (assume the other person is doing their best and has no ill will) and listening with an open heart and mind. This section is the majority of the book because it’s fundamental to her work and our lives. It covers shame, empathy, defending ourselves and grounded confidence. 

2. Living into your Values – know your 2-3 top values in life that define you, that represent who you are at your best. Figure out the behaviours that support your values and those that don’t. For example, one of my values in integrity. A behaviour that supports it is doing what I say I’ll do. A slippery behaviour that takes me away from my value is talking behind someone’s back. 

3. BRAVING Trust – this is an acronym of 7 elements to create trust. For example, B is for boundaries – setting boundaries for yourself (with others often) of what’s ok and what’s not okay and why. For example, it’s ok to not like one of my thoughts, it’s not okay to attack me personally for what I wrote. Constructive feedback and open debate are good. Ridiculing is not. 

4. Learning to Rise – this is how to recover when you are triggered, upset or feeling less than resourceful. Firstly, feel your emotions and identify what they are. Secondly, rumble with it to figure out what’s going on. Lastly, notice your patterns so you can avoid negative reactions happening in the first place. 

I’ll be covering the ideas, tips and tools in more depth over the coming months. 

What would you do if you were demonstrating Daring Leadership? 

Brené Brown, Dare to Lead. (London: Penguin Random House UK, 2018)