Review of Dare to Lead

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  • Analytical
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


In this inspiring and useful text, vulnerability researcher and TED superstar Brené Brown supplements her New York Times bestsellers, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, with new research, personal experiences, case studies and data from interviews with top leaders. Though in some ways this repackages some of her earlier ideas aimed at the business market, Brown issues a fresh call to lead bravely and foster courageous workplace cultures. She explains that, in contrast to “armored” leaders who act from a stance of self-protection and self-interest, daring leadership comes from a place of courage and confidence.

Brown remains a champion of compassion. She offers practical guidelines and a process for applying the lessons of her previous books to your leadership practice. Her process can be arduous: You must commit to looking deeply within yourself and initiating tough conversations with your colleagues. The good news is that you can learn the specific skills and behaviors of daring leadership at any point in your career. If you have read Brown’s earlier works closely, you might find some of what you she teaches here is redundant. On the other hand, new times demand new models of leadership and Brown’s advice on personal growth is always welcome.

About the Author

Vulnerability researcher and professor at the University of Houston Brené Brown is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Braving the Wilderness, Rising Strong and Daring Greatly.


“What Stands in the Way?”

A common misconception is that courage and fear are mutually exclusive. With her typical compassion and insight, Brown reminds you that most people feel scared even while they act courageously. Acting when the outcome is uncertain or the odds are against you takes bravery. Brown excels at reminding you that the internal contradictions you may wish you could disavow are in fact fundamental to human nature and no source of shame.

When researchers asked senior leaders what stands in the way of great leadership, they identified the lack of brave leaders and courageous cultures. Brown calls out leadership and organizational behaviors that thwart productivity, innovation and advancement. They include avoiding tough conversations, spending too much time managing problems instead of working proactively, avoiding risk, and failing to build relationships or show empathy. Problems include shaming and blaming, setting corporate values that are aspirational rather than practical, and being reluctant to address diversity and inclusion.

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