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Dare to Lead

Dare to Lead

Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts

Book - 2018
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, she's showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.

Look for Brené Brown's new podcast, Dare to Lead, as well as her ongoing podcast Unlocking Us !


Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.

When we dare to lead, we don't pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don't see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don't avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it's necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we're choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we're scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can't do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.

Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

In this new book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions of readers have come to expect and love.

Brown writes, "One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It's learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It's why we're here."

Whether you've read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong or you're new to Brené Brown's work, this book is for anyone who wants to step up and into brave leadership.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780399592522
Call Number: 658.4092 B8123d
Characteristics: xix, 298 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

A #1 New York TImes bestseller and named one of the best books of the year by Bloomberg.

From the critics

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Sep 07, 2020

The main thing I learned from Dare to Lead was that "#1 New York Times Bestseller" and "Wall Street Journal Bestseller" are no indication of the quality of writing or content.

The style of writing is bizarre: Brené Brown is a decorated academic researcher but writes as if she's speaking, littering the pages with North American colloquialisms ("I call BS!"), awkward epithets ("embrace the suck", "braving trust") and countless anecdotes told through reported speech miraculously remembered in precise detail and always perfect for the point being illustrated. Her biggest crime is arguably the attempt to co-opt the word "rumble", ascribing it a new meaning - a vain attempt to leave a legacy, perhaps.

It's a struggle to get to the content of the book, and what's there is comprised of interminable lists of closely-related items that Brown fails to distinguish between clearly. There are definitely a few interesting insights but they're suffocated by reams of filler. But my biggest disappointment was the lack of any real actionable, practical advice.

The point of the book - that leaders should embrace vulnerability - seems designed for a bygone era, when machismo permeated the attitude and behaviour of the higher-ups. Certainly in my experience in the corporate world in 2020 (admittedly in tech) leaders understand the need for open communication and empathy. It all helps to make Dare to Lead miss the mark.

JCLBreH Mar 31, 2020

This downloadable audio is read by the author and provides leaders of organizations to “be self aware and lead from the heart.” And “stay curious and show up.” This author is a great story teller and teaches you how to build your own courage skills....and more.

DBRL_IdaF Jan 28, 2020

This book doesn't have a lot of techniques or tricks. It's more deep philosophy about leading from a place of wholeness, or least trying to. I got a lot out of it.

Dec 09, 2019

An excellent book for managers in any industry to guide them in being better organizational leaders. As the author points out the best leaders are those who listen to staff who work with them, ask their opinions, and show vulnerability themselves by demonstrating they don't have all the answers. Rather than "armouring up" as the author terms it, which is the typical behaviour of leaders and which ultimately lead their organizations into the ground, enlightened leadership is open, curious, and listens more than talks. The result is healthier organizations, empowered staff and effective communication. A worthwhile read!

Nov 05, 2019

Lots of repetition from Rising Strong, but in the context of work. Totally worthwhile since the material is challenging and bears repeating, plus it's a helpful new angle. A book packed with useful information about how work places can be more whole hearted.

Oct 09, 2019

Many people I talk to say she’s a great speaker, and there were a few nuggets to be gleaned here, but I struggled getting through this book. Her writing style just didn’t do it for me.

Sep 29, 2019

I picked this book up as a Peak Pick at the library. I have tried to read Brene Brown’s books in the past, and I could never get into them. I am not sure why; perhaps I was not ready to hear what she had to say. I found this book fascinating. It draws on her earlier research, and pulls it all together for people in the workplace. I understand that some people who loved her earlier books find this one too pragmatic, but I found that pragmatism to be appealing.

There is loads of content in this book. I could type for days if I tried to summarize this book, so I will not even try. I wrote pages about this book, and barely scratched the surface. If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to read the whole book for yourself. I think that every reader would find different take-aways from this book.

One warning: She tells us early on that she is not going to use corporate jargon, but she does use some jargon (if I never hear the words “circle back” again, I would be delighted!). So be prepared, and rest assured that the book is well worth reading despite the jargon.

Jul 11, 2019

I've often heard Brené Brown cited in other works and this is the first full book of hers I have read. I listened to the audio, which was tricky because this book is full of so many good ideas and research. I've ordered my own personal copy because I know I will be thumbing through its pages for years to come as a reference. It's very true that most of us don't understand our own behaviours because we were never taught how to identify and deal with certain emotions. It is so helpful to benefit from Brown's research on defensive techniques "the armour" and "brave leadership responses" to common challenging behaviours. There are several helpful downloads on the book's accompanying blog and thousands of folks now trained to deliver "Dare to Lead" workshops. Highly recommended, even for those who may not be supervisors, but lead work teams or projects.

Jun 11, 2019

I have the audio but want to go back and make copies of some of her amazing ideas. Wonderful and inspiring find. Because of this I await a paper copy.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Feb 08, 2019

A very readable leadership book.

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Apr 04, 2021

How to Practice Self-Compassion... She writes about the three elements that make up the practice: self-kindness, humanity, and mindfulness. -p.157-158

Apr 04, 2021

Shame resilience is the ability to practice authenticity when we experience shame, to move through the experience without sacrificing our values, and to come out on the other side of the shame experience with more courage, compassion, and connection than we had going into it. Ultimately, shame resilience is about moving from shame to empathy— the real antidote to shame. -p. 136

Apr 02, 2021

Hustling for our worth - Knowing our value -p.76-77


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