I was lucky enough to see Brene Brown speak at a business chicks workshop event last week. Total fangirl moment!
For those who don’t know Brene Brown, she’s a researcher, storyteller and scholar (amongst other titles) who has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
You may have seen her on Oprah’s couch or chatting with her friend Elizabeth Gilbert or you may have seen her 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, which is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with over 25 million viewers to date. If you haven’t seen it… It’s a must watch!
In the workshop I attended, she spoke about brave leaders and courage cultures and presented and spoke about some new research she has been working on.
She had the whole room, hundreds of people, mostly women, in awe for the whole 2 hours. So I wanted to share some of the learnings and some of her quotes, firstly so that I don’t forget them, and secondly, because no matter who you are and what you do… there’s something valuable here for everyone… Ah ha moments (as Oprah would say).
Let’s start with some of my favourite quotes…
“We will not change the world if we don’t change the way we work”
“You’ve got to know what your emotional weather is and how it affects those around you”
“We don’t change people with what we know we change people with who we are”
- Trust is a collection of small moments. It’s about the building of small moments, not grand gestures and Brene used the marble jar analogy as example and is how she explained trust to her young daughter. Basically everyone starts with an empty metaphorical marble jar and whenever a friend or colleague does something that earns your trust, you put a marble in their jar. Marbles get taken out when that friend does something that doesn’t earn your trust, like gossips, disrespects you, talks more about themselves rather than asking about you, or doesn’t make the same effort as you to connect, etc
- Only when their jar is full can you really trust them enough to share your story, or have they earned the right to hear your story
- Because trust is built in small moments of time, you have to take the time. You cannot cheat time
- The number one thing that builds trust is asking for help (which shows vulnerability)
- The second thing that builds trust is going to funerals. Showing up when it matters most!
- Brene said, and she quotes this from Oprah “If you cannot disappoint people you cannot lead”
- To be a great leader you have to be comfortable with disappointing people. it’s about “I respect her work” versus “I like her”
- Being calm is a leadership superpower and it’s incredibly contagious
- It’s a learned skill i.e. to be able to breathe and respond slowly when things turn to shit, then ask yourself, do I have enough data to freak out and will that be helpful?
- To be a good leader you need to understand the intersection between your personal and professional development, and personal development is more important
- You need to ask yourself are you going to choose courage over comfort – The tough truth over easy bullshit
- Vulnerability without boundaries is not really vulnerability
- You need to understand vulnerability in context and what’s appropriate
But the Key take out for me and something I’m personally going to work on is keeping this quote in mind…
“Everyday I will choose what is courageous over what is comfortable”. The tough truth over easy bullshit!
My head came away from the workshop spinning with a big list of things to think about and do:
- Read all her books – Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection
- Look into her Courage Works online courses
- Read being in the Hum by Shonda Rhimes as recommended by Brene
- And watch her TEDx talk again and again
- The parenting manifesto is also incredible and should be stuck up on every household’s wall. You can watch her read it sitting on the couch with Oprah here.
Do you choose the courageous over the comfortable? Or like me is it something you’re working on too? How do you decide who gets marbles in their jar?
Linking up to #IBOT with Essentially Jess