A reading club with a view to the future

024 Brené Brown: Dare to Lead

Vulnerability and empathy are essential qualities for effective leadership that creates a culture of courage and connection.

Brené Brown: Dare to Lead


Based on extensive research, Brené Brown explores how vulnerability and empathy can be leveraged to create a culture of courage and connection that fosters effective leadership. Brown argues that the current leadership models are failing us and we need a new approach to leadership that embraces vulnerability, empathy, and authenticity.


Title: Dare to Lead

Author: Brené Brown

Publishing Year: 2018

Publisher: Random House Audio

Length in Hours: 8 hours and 10 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Effective leadership requires embracing vulnerability and taking risks.
  2. Empathy is a crucial component of strong leadership and leads to better decision-making.
  3. Building trust is essential for creating a culture of courage and connection.
  4. Strong leaders are willing to have difficult conversations and address issues head-on.
  5. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and developed over time with practice and feedback.
Brené Brown: Dare to Lead

5 funny quotes

  1. "I will tell you, the fastest way to get innovation going in a company is to lower the cost of failure."
  2. "You know how there are people who just do things because they're afraid of failure? I'm one of them."
  3. "Leadership is not about being in charge. It's about taking care of those in your charge."
  4. "I have a policy that I'll go anywhere, as long as I can wear flip-flops."
  5. "I'm not trying to be anybody's savior. I'm just trying to think about the future and not be sad."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It's about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage. The world is desperate for braver leaders. It's time for all of us to step up."
  2. "The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness-even our wholeheartedness-actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls."
  3. "Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose."
  4. "Trust is built in very small moments, and it is always about character and competence. Trust is not a unicorn."
  5. "Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing vulnerability with authority as a leader.
  2. Navigating feedback and criticism in a way that doesn't feel personal.
  3. Deciding when to share personal stories and experiences as a leader.
  4. Balancing the need for innovation and creativity with the need for structure and stability.
  5. Balancing the needs and wants of different stakeholders as a leader.

5 examples

  1. Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, who led the company through a turnaround by focusing on creating a culture of empathy and connection.
  2. Nelson Mandela, who exhibited vulnerability and empathy as a leader by embracing forgiveness and reconciliation after his release from prison.
  3. Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford, who used transparency and honesty to address the company's problems and turn the company around.
  4. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who exemplified courageous leadership by standing up for what he believed in, even in the face of danger and adversity.
  5. Ed Catmull, former president of Pixar, who fostered a culture of creativity and collaboration by encouraging candid communication and embracing failure as a necessary part of the creative process.

Referenced books

  1. "Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't" by Simon Sinek
  2. "The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage" by Brené Brown
  3. "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" by Brené Brown
  4. "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol S. Dweck - Brené Brown 
  5. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni

Share a quote

"The fastest way to get innovation going in a company is to lower the cost of failure."

Brené Brown: Dare to Lead
Become a NextBook Insider

Join our community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.