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Brene Brown

Why Bosses are Sitting Up and Taking Note of Brené Brown

Courage is the new black for leaders

“We are human after all … as leaders we don’t have all the answers and we certainly don’t have to pretend that we do.”
Brigid Walsh, General Manager, The Golden Door Health Retreat and Spa Elysia in the Hunter Valley, NSW

Firstly, what’s the definition of the word “boss”?

According to dictionaries*, it’s this:
1. a person who exercises control over workers
2. a person responsible for hiring workers
3. a person who exercises control and makes decisions

So, where is the word “control” in Dr. Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead?

Nowhere. In fact, the word control is completely absent from the index of Dare to Lead, Dr. Brown’s celebrated bestseller derived from her extensive research into leadership.
The phenomenon of Brené Brown

 Brené Brown is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought-after thought leaders on human connection, and being an authentic boss.

Her 2010 TED talk, filmed as an out-of-the-limelight Tedx talk in Houston by volunteers, has become one of TED’s most watched videos, on the cusp of breaking the 40 million views mark.

Dr. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation - Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

Dare to Lead has ranked #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list, Publishers Weekly, and The Wall Street Journal, and Brené Brown now has her own Netflix special.

In Dare to Lead, the most fleshed-out word pertaining to leadership under the letter “C” is courage.

“Courage is contagious,” writes Brené Brown, “To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organisations, we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations and whole hearts are the expectation, and armour is not necessary or rewarded.”  

And, Brown’s definition of “leader”? “Anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential.”

The benefits to bosses of courage

According to Brown, if there is no trust, there is no connection. And, trust is a vulnerable and courageous process.

Trust “between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces” and the “one thing that changes everything,” she says, quoting from Fortune research. “Without it, every part of your organisation can fall, literally, into disrepair.”  
Brene Brown 3 books
B.R.A.V.I.N.G. – 7 behaviours that define trust

Bosses can use the acronym BRAVING to remind themselves of how they can develop trust.
  • Boundaries – You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay, you ask. You are willing to say no.
  • Reliability – You do what you say you’ll do. You stay aware of your competencies and limitations. You don’t overpromise, and you deliver on commitments.
  • Accountability – You own your mistakes, apologise, and make amends.
  • Vault – You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share.
  • Integrity – You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.
  • Non-judgement – I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgement. We can ask each other for help without judgement.
  • Generosity – You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words and actions of others.
According to Fast Company, people deem a leader who is vulnerable as trustworthy because signs of weakness provide authenticity to being a human being.

So, Brené Brown’s thought leadership is key to being a good boss, because being a human being is fast becoming one of the most important traits of effective leaders.

Tickets are selling fast to Brave Leaders. Courageous Cultures; The Growth Faculty 31st July 2019 event in Sydney and 2nd August 2019 event in Melbourne with Dr Brené Brown. For more information on this event and bookings, click here. 

Members of The Growth Faculty receive discounts to events, as well as accessing a library of great ideas through interviews with bestselling international authors. To become a member, 
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*AudioEnglish, set up for non-English speakers