I am a raving fan of the work that Brené does, and her ability to tell her story with humor and grace. Her past books were more for a general audience and weren’t focused on the business crowd. That changed with Dare to Lead. The thing I really like about this book, and there is much to like, is the application of her research to a business setting. And, boy, do we in business need it.
Her take on leadership is refreshing and exactly what is needed in today’s environment. Leadership is not just about power. It is about asking the right questions, having difficult conversations and allowing others to lead. Most importantly it is about vulnerability and shame, and what blocks us from being our best selves. Vulnerability and shame are not words we commonly associate with leaders, or even something that we talk about much in a business setting. However, it is exactly what makes a leader a great leader and what makes us humane and human!
Dare to Lead is divided into 4 sections: Rumbling with Vulnerability, Living Into Our Values, Braving Trust, and Learning to Rise. Each section of the book offers helpful insights, strategies and examples from her own experiences. I will give you one example here. She tells the story of a boss asking a subordinate for something by the end of the day. When the end of the day comes around, the subordinate turns in the assignment, only to be told that isn’t what was expected. Brene’ suggests instead that the subordinate asks the boss to “paint done for me”. In other words, instead of assuming the boss knows what he or she wants, and assuming the subordinate knows as well, the simple phrase “paint done for me” opens up the conversation so that everyone is on the same page. How much blown productivity could be saved using those little words? The book is full of those kinds of practical nuggets.
You will find yourself book-marking many pages to return to time and time again. It is a book I would whole-heartedly recommend. If you know Brene’s work, that statement will make sense to you. If not, get reading!