Episode 47: Dare to Lead
Both Kat and Liz are BIG fans of Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead. This book is about leadership; we adhere to the belief that we’re all leaders of our own lives and careers, and so we think that this book applies to everyone. Having the ability to "rumble," whether it’s in your personal or work life, will help you authentically connect with people around you to solve hard problems and come together with shared goals. Brene Brown defines rumble like this: A rumble is a discussion, conversation, or meeting defined by a commitment to lean into vulnerability, to stay curious and generous, to stick with the messy middle of problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary, to be fearless in owning our parts, and, as psychologist Harriet Lerner teaches, to listen with the same passion with which we want to be heard. Having an uncomfortable conversation? It takes courage, but to set the stage and then lean into the uncomfortable topic, establishing trust and safety -- that's what builds a stronger team. Setting the stage as kind and respectful helps to alleviate some anxiety, and knowing that everyone’s trying to do the best for the company helps with that. Brene’s rumbling context makes it so much easier. When you’re a leader and you see an issue and you don’t address it because it’s uncomfortable, it just grows. You must address uncomfortable situations. If things get heated, it’s ok to schedule time the next day, step away, think it over, and come back together again tomorrow. Stopping before you do damage is important. Take breaths to calm yourself when you get stressed. Taking a minute before a big meeting for a technique like box breathing will help you stay centered and calm. (Box breathing = inhale for 4 seconds; hold for four, exhale for four, hold for four.) You can use a technique like this to transition between moments and contexts that may be stressful, especially when working at home and potentially multi-tasking. Your family commitments are important. When planning a rumble, it’s important to talk about what you need to talk about. Otherwise the person’s imagination can get carried away, and they can get unnecessarily worked up for no reason. If Liz tells Kat that they need to rumble about RJT marketing, it’s a lot different than saying “we need to rumble about something.” If you’re only listening to the voice in your head, you’re not open, and it’s important to be neutral and quieting the voices in your head, while being open to being wrong. Be both open and solutions-focused. Rumbling isn’t just for careers; it can be personal too. Approaching personal issues as open-minded and solutions-oriented will help build trust and help strengthen any relationship. Brene talks about values and how we bring values into everything we do, and challenges us to pick two core values out of her list of 50. After a lot of thought, Kat picked service to others and integrity and Liz picked authenticity and reliability. Brene also challenges her readers to pick times that they were aligned with and also against their core values. We talk about how being more aligned with values is easier as we get older. Understanding someone’s values helps you understand and appreciate their perspective; diverse values and perspectives at the table help move businesses forward. Understanding those viewpoints make you better. When you show others who you are, it helps you to grow. Trust is earned in all relationships, including atwork. Doing what we say we’re going to do establishes trust. Asking for help is critical to success in Brene Brown’s world; it shows people you’re working on it and you’re focused on doing what’s needed to get things done. Gossip is toxic. If someone gossips about someone else, they’ll gossip about you, and then trust is lost. Failurd happens, and it’s uncomfortable. But through the creative process, failure happens in order create and grow. Growth mindset celebrates failure, and if you communicate about trying something new, and you fall, own it and iterate. Check out any of Brené Brown's books, but if you're interested in how her work applies to your work, we especially recommend Dare to Lead.