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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Book Review: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

BOOK review
Started on: 10 November 2018
Finished on: 23 November 2018

Title: Dare to Lead
Author: Brené Brown
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 320 pages / 320 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2018
Price: Rp 248,000 (

Rating: 4/5
"I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential."
In this new book, Brené Brown—a research professor, broaden her data on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, in the world of organization and leadership. 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. 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. This book is for anyone who wants to step up and into brave leadership.

"At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized."
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again... who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
This is the third book by Brené Brown that I've read, and it's probably my least favorite, but I ended up writing a review for this one first 😂. I guess it's because the previous two books that I've read, Rising Strong and I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't) are just too good and I just want to rewrite the whole book in my reviews 😂😂. I said that this book is my least favorite not because the content isn't that good. To be honest, I still learned a lot of amazing things through her research. The difference is, this time everything is seen from a leadership perspective. It hasn't been that long since I finished Rising Strong and I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't), so a lot of the details from those books are still fresh in my memory. One of the drawbacks from this book is the fact that there are a lot of things that are just straight out of her previous books. I think I'd rather just read all of her previous books separately than reading this one 🤔. Despite my dissatisfaction, I'm going to share some of the things that I find interesting about leadership in this book 😊.
"Rather than spending a reasonable amount of time proactively acknowledging and addressing the fears and feelings that show up during change and upheaval, we spend an unreasonable amount of time managing problematic behaviors."
"People are opting out of vital conversations about diversity and inclusivity because they fear looking wrong, saying something wrong, or being wrong. Choosing our own comfort over hard conversations is the epitome of privilege, and it corrodes trust and moves us away from meaningful and lasting change."
In the introduction part of this book, Brené listed ten behaviors and cultural issues that leaders identified as getting in our way in organizations across the world, which includes: avoiding tough conversations, not acknowledging fears and feelings, diminishing trust, getting stuck in setbacks, too much shame, and many more. Throughout the book, she shared some of the ways to tackle these issues.

One of my favorite chapters in this book is called Living into Our Values. I love this statement in the book about value: "Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them. We walk our talk—we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs." I've seen many people who are inconsistent with their values, and somehow I find it very difficult to respect that kind of person. That's why I really appreciate Brené for talking about it. There's even a section in this book that makes you focus on your two core values. She specifically asks us to narrow it down to two, as Jim Collins said: "If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities." It's an amazing exercise that makes me reflect on the top two things that I value in my life.
"Our values should be so crystallized in our minds, so infallible, so precise and clear and unassailable, that they don't feel like a choicethey are simply a definition of who we are in our lives. In those hard moments, we know that we are going to pick what's right, right now, over what is easy."
"Because that is integritychoosing courage over comfort; it's choosing what's right over what's fun, fast, or easy; and it's practicing your values, not just professing them."
Another statement that stuck in my mind is: "Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind." When I read this part, I ponder about it for quite some time because it really speaks to me. As Brené wrote in this book: "Feeding people half-truths or bullshit to make them feel better (which is almost always about making ourselves feel more comfortable) is unkind. Not getting clear with a colleague about your expectations because it feels too hard, yet holding them accountable or blaming them for not delivering is unkind. Talking about people rather than to them is unkind." This quote really struck me hard because I'm guilty for being unclear about many things. After reading this part, I tried to apply it to an incident that happened to me recently, and it was relieving. It was difficult to do at first, but then I felt better afterwards. I am still learning, but that statement has become one of my life motto now 😊.

The last part that I'm going to share in this review is the chapter called Braving Trust. In this chapter, there's this thing called the BRAVING Inventory which leads to trust building. The seven elements includes: Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Nonjudgment, and Generosity. I'm not going to go over every single one, but I really learned a lot in this section. I am especially weak in Vault, which is about not sharing information or experiences that are not yours to share. I guess I'm doing better lately, but I know I still have more room to grow. It's a good place for me to reflect and evaluate how I've been with my trust-building skill so far.
"Maya Angelou said, "I don't trust people who don't love themselves and tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt."
There are so many more things that I could share in this review but I think that would be too long to read 😂. If you're interested in leadership, planning on being a leader, or you're just part of an organization, you can pick this book up to gain some insight. I believe it will be extremely useful since there are so many things that we can learn through it. I might want to pick this book up again when I'm planning to step up into a leadership position (although it's a bit unlikely to happen in my life 😂). As I've said earlier, for me personally, I'd rather read Brené Brown's other books because those dig deep into the topics of courage, empathy, and wholeheartedness. Nevertheless, I'm still grateful to Brené Brown for writing all these books that always renewed my mind and my perspective on living this life. Definitely looking forward to her future works! 😊
"Daring leaders must care for and be connected to the people they lead.
The data made clear that care and connection are irreducible requirements for wholehearted, productive relationships between leaders and team members. This means that if we do not have a sense of caring toward someone we lead and/or we don't feel connected to that person, we have two options: Develop the caring and connection or find a leader who's a better fit."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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