Global Leadership Summit 2013: Dr. Brene Brown

Dr. Brene Brown, Research Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work did an incredible job speaking about the vulnerability of a leader. Dr. Brown is a groundbreaking researcher into the topics of shame, worthiness, and courage. Check out her book Daring Greatly.

  • I don’t study leaders, I study people
  • The 2 irreducible needs of people are #1 Love and #2 Belonging
  • In the absence of love and belonging there will always be pain and suffering
  • People have 3 basic needs in life:
    • People need to be seen & loved
    • To belong
    • To be brave
  • Connection gives meaning to our lives
  • We have to allow ourselves to be loved.
  • Love is not something that we give or get but something that we nurture and cultivate between 2 people when they learn to love themselves.
  • Shame blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the root from which love grows.
  • Growth through connection: love is something that happens through connection with other people, it doesn’t happen alone by ourselves
  • You don’t have all the answers
  • We have too many problems, and if everyone who acted like they had all the answers actually had all the answers then why aren’t they solving all the problems?
  • Leaders aren’t supposed to have all the answers.
  • What a leader does is model the courage to ask the tough questions.
  • We can’t give what we don’t have (courage, sense of belonging, permission to ask for grace, etc.)
  • We cannot give help when we cannot ask for it.
  • When you feel self judgment for asking for help you are by default always judging when you offer help because you’ve attached judgment to needing help
  • Judgment shows up by deriving self worth through being a helper
  • Professing v. Practice
  • Love is a practice and when you engage in unloving practices your not loving
  • The space between how we behave and our aspirational values (love), that gap is where we lose people
  • People can’t navigate the gap between what we say and what we practice
  • People aren’t looking for perfection they’re looking for people who practice love
  • What kills love kills organizations
  • Shame: can only rise to a certain level until people disengage to self protect (humiliating and putting people down / gossip / favoritism / self worth attached to performance)
  • Blame: the simple discharging of pain and discomfort / the people who score the highest in the ability to hold people accountable have the lowest blame scores
  • Disrespect: #1 reason people leave jobs = lack of feedback / people feel unseen and disrespected / you can’t be good at feedback if you’re not willing to be vulnerable / it means sitting on the same side of the table as someone and looking at the problem together
  • Belonging: #1 barrier = fitting in / you have to make space in your organization for people to show up and be seen for who they are not who they could be
  • Be Brave: we never feel more alive than when we are being brave (love, work, etc)
  • You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you can not have both the two are mutually exclusive
  • If you sign up for courage you are signing up to get your butt kicked
  • If you’re going to be brave you need: Clarity of values & someone who loves because of your imperfections
  • If you are not in the arena not getting your butt kicked I am not interested in or open to your feedback
  • As the world has grown the number of cheap seats has grown

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