Dare to Lead by Brene Brown is a leadership book that combines her concepts of Daring Greatly with leadership skills. The vulnerability researcher discusses how the use of vulnerability in leadership is not only good but essential. Brown discusses how rumbling with vulnerability shows power and wisdom when leading others and shares multiple examples from those who have applied her work to their professional lives. Some of the tools that she offers skills on modeling and encouraging healthy striving, empathy, and self-compassion; practicing gratitude and celebrating milestones; setting boundaries and finding real comfort. Some of my favorite tools are TASC an accountability tool used to help build good teamwork and delegation. Her list of knowing when you are ready to give feedback is a good reminder if you ever have to give feedback as part of your work.
Who is this good for
This book is good for anyone looking to grow in their leadership skills and is ok with looking at things in a less traditional way. Brown posses the idea that to be a good leader we must be vulnerable. She breaks down the idea that a leader must be a perfectionist that fosters fear in their direct reports. Throughout the text, she shows in her research and experience that a leader does not need to be a dictator that people blindly follow. If you are looking for a new direction in your leadership style this could be a good book to look at. This book will also help you look inside yourself and see where you are lying to yourself with your “Shitty First Drafts” (SFT’s) as Brown so lovingly calls the lies we tell ourselves about what is going on in our lives.
Who is this not good for
Dare to Lead is not a book for the faint-hearted. Brown dives in deep into leadership and how we as leaders have things that we can do to change our team for the better. If you are looking for a book that is going to get your team to do more work with little effort from you, this is not the book for you. Brown goes through various tools that take equal participation from the manager and the direct report alike. If you choose to read this one be prepared to see things that you could change in your day to day functioning at work. I will leave that up to you if that is something that you are looking for.
My experience reading/listening
My experience listening to Dare to Lead was a good one. I listened to this book at a time where I needed someone to tell me that it was ok to be vulnerable and to give me the tools to be who I am and be a positive leader. As a person, I am honest and am ok with vulnerability. Years ago, I read Brown’s book Daring Greatly and it changed the way that I looked at vulnerability. I enjoyed the process of applying what I read in Daring Greatly to my leadership. The audiobook for Dare to Lead is read by Brown and is a good listen. Her style keeps you engaged in the book and is appropriate for the content she is presenting. In addition, she will describe charts that are in the book so that listeners understand what is in printed form in the book.
What makes this book different
Dare to Lead is different in a number of capacities but does present some common topics that are in today’s professional development world. Like Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Brown discusses having honest conversations with direct rapports that does not break the rapport that is built between supervisor and direct report. However, one main difference is her focus on personal growth. She provides the audience with concrete ideas on how to grow as a vulnerable leader including activities and processes that will help in your professional and personal life. It is also unique in that Brown is expanding on her other books and applying that knowledge to the professional world vs. only having a professional world view. Brown looks as a leader as the entire person not just the leader in a suit.
Buy and check it out yourself
Overall, Dare to Lead By Brene Brown is a well-written book that many people have learned from and enjoyed. If you want to buy feel free to click below!
Sarah Brock is the founder of Unremarkably Remarkable. She is a wife, mom, trainer, healthcare advocate, writer, and editor.