Dare to Lead (Old Version) Book Summary - Dare to Lead (Old Version) Book explained in key points
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Dare to Lead (Old Version) summary

Brené Brown

Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole hearts.

4.6 (1647 ratings)
17 mins
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    Dare to Lead (Old Version)
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    Far from being a weakness, vulnerability is an essential asset for innovation.

    Let's start this Blink by asking a bold question: what makes you feel vulnerable? Brené Brown has asked this question to thousands of individuals over the years. Most of the time, she gets the answers you'd connect with. Vulnerability is the first date after your difficult divorce, it's starting to run your first business, or it's how you feel when you get laid off from work. As these answers show, vulnerability is a universal human emotion. We feel it when we expose ourselves to others and experience times of risk or uncertainty.

    But, even though vulnerability is such a common feeling, we aren't always clear on what vulnerability is and – perhaps more crucially – what it isn't. Because one thing that vulnerability certainly isn't is a weakness. 

    Of course, experiences that make you feel vulnerable, like losing a job or putting yourself out there emotionally, can bring feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and a desire for self-protection. However, there is no single piece of empirical data to suggest that vulnerability is associated with weakness. In fact, the opposite is true: acts of courage are impossible if you don't first put yourself in a vulnerable position.

    Okay, so you might not be convinced yet. Well, let's give another example.

    In 2014, Brené Brown stood in a room of special forces military personnel. She first explained to them that vulnerability is the emotion that accompanies risk and uncertainty. Then, she asked these brave, tough soldiers whether any of them had ever undertaken or witnessed a courageous act that did not require them to feel vulnerable. 

    Not one of the soldiers could come up with a single example of courageousness in which vulnerability hadn't come along for the ride. To be clear: as soon as the audience focused on their actual courageous experiences, the myth of vulnerability and weakness crumbled. 

    Vulnerability isn't just essential to courage. It's the cornerstone of human innovation and creativity. Let me explain: As you probably know, creativity is a tricky thing to manage. You never quite know when it will strike. You also don't really know if your ideas will actually turn out to be any good. To put it bluntly, being creative requires you to fail – often, you might need to fail multiple times. 

    The risk of failure and the uncertainty it brings along requires you to be vulnerable. Any society that equates vulnerability with weakness will put people off trying to innovate. If you're scared to fail, you'll struggle to produce new ideas or fresh perspectives.

    Let's give the final word to Golden Globe-winning actress and writer Amy Poehler. Poehler points out that it's very difficult to let yourself be vulnerable, and those who can are often society's dreamers, thinkers, and creators.

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    What is Dare to Lead (Old Version) about?

    Dare to Lead (2018) explores how you can find the inner courage to lead a great team. Drawing on Brown's person experiences as a leadership coach, as well as recent research, these blinks explore how you can harness your emotions, quash your fear of failure, and become a daring leader in an increasingly competitive world.

    Best quote from Dare to Lead (Old Version)

    If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities.

    —Brené Brown
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    Who should read Dare to Lead (Old Version)?

    • Business psychology buffs seeking new insights
    • Leaders searching for a fresh perspective to connect with their team
    • Anyone trying to build their courage in the workplace

    About the Author

    Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, specializing in courage and empathy research. Her 2012 book, Daring Greatly, was a New York Times best seller. Her TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” has over 50 million views and is one of the top five most-viewed TED talks of all time.

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