Book Review - April 2019

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

Book by Brené Brown 

Review by Derik Borden

Dare to Lead takes a unique approach to leadership development and stresses the importance of vulnerability. Vulnerability may be viewed by some as a weakness because it means exposing yourself that may result in being emotional or physical harm. This doesn’t seem like something a leader should do but the author provides evidence around the myths of vulnerability as it relates to leadership and why it is important for a leader to “rumble with vulnerability”.

Part of rumbling with vulnerability has to do with being courageous and not putting on your “armor” when things get uncomfortable or you start to feel too exposed. Armor is something we all carry around with us and the author provides many examples of how putting on your armor in difficult situations can actually make things worse. The book also explores the topics of shame and empathy as well as curiosity and grounding yourself in confidence.

The final sections of the book focus on living into your values, braving trust, and leaning to rise. Tips are provided on how to identify your values as well as what it actually means to live by those values’ day to day. The important takeaway from these sections is to really understand yourself and open up yourself to trusting others which in turn allows them to see the real you and build a relationship that is founded on trust and honesty.

Listening to Dare to Lead on Audible was my introduction to Brené Brown and her work on leadership development. You may already be familiar with her work, read one of her books, or seen her TED Talks. For me, this book has been life changing and I don’t know how I survived as a leader before Brené Brown.

Learn more about Brené Brown by visiting her website, check out her TED Talks on The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame, or watch her new Netflix special called Brené Brown: The Call to Courage.

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