Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown

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TL;DR

Being a daring leader is all about being vulnerable and open with your team. A few of the key attributes of a daring leader include opening up with your emotions, having empathy, getting rid of shame in the workplace, and helping build your team’s confidence with small wins. This view of leadership is definitely challenging the norm of the fearless leader that has all of their ducks in a row which makes me love it. I truly believe this more relatable leadership style is a better way to build trust with your team and help empower everyone with inclusion.

I really really really wanted to love this book. It has so much good information that I think you can apply to your personally and business life. But, I had a hard time following it. I felt like I was getting sprayed by a firehouse of information. With that being said, still I did my best to keep notes on how to become a more daring leader. These notes really only cover about 1/3 of the actual book though. The rest of the book goes deeper into what empathy, reducing shame, and a few other key attributes look like.

PRINCIPLES OF A DARING LEADER

1. Modeling and encouraging healthy striving - this is all about personal growth rather than comparative growth. If you base your results on others, you will always be able to find someone better. If you base your success on personal goals, you will continue to strive to be a better person.

2. Practicing gratitude and celebrating victories - why do we always think great things will be followed by something terrible? When we feel joy, it is extreme vulnerability, so we tend to counteract that by protecting ourselves from something bad. It is important to practice gratitude and allow yourself to celebrate the good things in life.

3. Setting boundaries and finding comfort - what makes you uncomfortable? You need to figure out what makes you uncomfortable and learn to deal with these in healthy ways rather than numbing them.

4. Practicing integration - strong back, soft front, wild heart. You need to be truly transparent with grounded confidence and boundaries, not give into the BS the world throws at you, and lastly, you need to be fierce and kind.

5. Being a learner - you need to give up on the idea that you need to know everything. You so need to be sure your co-workers feel comfortable asking questions and learning.

6. Modeling clarity kindness and hope - cynicism and sarcasm are the death of productive communication. We need to be honest, to the point. And treat people with respect.

7. Making contribution and taking risks - everyone should be sharing their point of view. You don't want people to constantly be crutching ideas, so you need to rewrite them to voice concern and provide adjustments to others ideas instead. This creates a collaborative environment with lots of ideas bouncing around.

8. Using power with, to, and within people - power is the ability to achieve purpose and affect change. Power is dangerous when used improperly. Leaders need to use their power to help their teams understand each other's values and enable each member to contribute in the best way they can.

9. Knowing our value - knowing your value along with each team members value will allow you to guide them down the right lanes. If everyone is on the same page and knows each members strengths, they will all be able to accomplish more together.

10. Cultivating commitment and purpose - stop simply assigning tasks and start providing texture to them. Do this because I'm your boss will not enable people, but working through tasks that need to be done and giving them everything they need to be successful will empower them. Another important piece is to "paint done" which means explain the task in full detail and what the task will be accomplished for. Then, you can make sure you have the best task to accomplish the goal you originally had in mind.

11. Acknowledge collective fear and certainty - work together to understand the entire teams fears and use these to bond and create a plan to reduce them.

12. Models and supporting rest play and recovery - model and support rest play and recovery. Your downtime has a direct effect on your productivity. Giving yourself proper downtime allows you to recover from work and be more productive in the long term.

13. Cultivating a culture of belonging with diverse perspective - people shouldn't have to change who they are to fit in. Leaders need to fight for the inclusion of all team members regardless of their opinions and beliefs.

14. Give gold stars - give praise whenever possible. Reward others for their success and make sure they're able to be proud of their accomplishments.

15. Straight talk and action - face your issues head on and determine the best course of action. After that, act in it and make it happen. Running away from your issues will only lead to exhaustion.

16. Leading from heart - use things you love for motivation rather than using things that hurt you. If you follow the things you love, you will continue to grow, but if you're always motivated by things that hurt you, you will never be satisfied. Follow the things you love, celebrate small victories, and you and your team will all grow.

Review by Tyler Diderich

If you aren't worried about the book being easy to follow and take notes on, I think it's worth a read. While I gave up on taking notes, I think Brené Brown is a fanastic storytelling and does a great job bringing these traits to life. You can purshace this book on amazon here: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.