Osio Labs

Book Chat: Dare to Lead

November 21, 2023 Addison Berry Season 1 Episode 9
Osio Labs
Book Chat: Dare to Lead
Show Notes Transcript

This episode is taking a look at another Brené Brown book, Dare to Lead. From previous discussions about leadership on the team and some folks being exposed to other Brené books, everyone on the team wanted to read this one and be in on the podcast. We have the whole team on the podcast for the first time!

This book takes Brene’s work about shame, vulnerability, and bravery and focuses it on applying the lessons specifically towards leadership, and in particular in the classic sense of leadership at work. She summarizes research and takeaways from her other books and presents four Skill Sets of Daring Leadership:

  • Rumbling with Vulnerability
  • Living into Our Values
  • Braving Trust
  • Learning to Rise

Stick with us as our team shares their thoughts and takeaways from the book.


You can get in touch with us to ask questions, leave comments, or provide suggestions on our website, https://osiolabs.com/.

Osio Labs is tinkering with Open Source Inside and Out. We’re on a mission to empower anyone to build websites using open source tools, and to create an open and sustainable business.

Addi:

Hey everybody. This is Addison Berry, and you're listening to the Osio Labs podcast. The show that explores the question,"how can we create sustainable businesses that care for people and make the world a better place?" On today's episode, I'm joined by the entire Osio Labs team: Amber Matz, Ashley Jones, Blake Hall, and Joe Shindelar. This is episode number nine. A book chat about Dare to Lead by BrenéBrown. This book takes Brené's, work about shame, vulnerability and bravery. And focuses it on applying the lesson specifically towards leadership and in particular, in the classic sense of leadership at work. She summarizes research and takeaways from her other books and presents for skillsets of daring leadership as she calls them. Which are. Rumbling with vulnerability. Living into our values. Braving trust. And learning to rise. So stick with us as our team shares their thoughts and takeaways from the book. This is exciting to have the entire team on a podcast and I think it's interesting that it's this book that sort of brought everybody onto a podcast together. So, we can just start off with, what's your overall impression, would you recommend this book or not? Does anybody want to kick us off with that question?

Blake:

I would definitely recommend this book. Two thumbs up. I think I was probably about 50 pages into it and I was like, yeah, we need to do this podcast now. I can't wait for this one. I thought it was really, really good.

Joe:

I felt similar, like 50 pages in and I'm nodding along the whole time. And at a certain point, I was like, I have to stop reading this book, or I'm going to have too many ideas of things that I need to try to work on or implement. And I can't do that. I, I also just, as an aside, I read the hardcover copy of the book because Sarah had a copy of it. And this is the first time I've read a hardcover book in a really long time. I usually read on my Kindle and the feature that I really missed about the Kindle when preparing for reading a book for a podcast was, normally I highlight everything in the Kindle and then I can go look it up online and I can't do that now,

Addi:

Hmm.

Joe:

but yes, I would recommend the book. It was a good read.

Ashley:

I would also echo that I really enjoyed the book also. And I think I'm just learning that I enjoy Brene Brown. Like I, I like the way that she talks about things. I like that it's very like anecdotal and it doesn't feel like preachy. But I also feel like I'm learning a lot, like about myself from this person, which is really interesting. But yes, two thumbs up. I really enjoyed it. Also.

Amber:

I quote unquote, read this book as an audio book driving to our retreat. And so I was a bit steamrolled because like, it just keeps going. Like the audio book just keeps going. And there's so many hard hitting things like things that you learn about yourself in the process. So my impression was. It was a little bit difficult to get through sometimes, but it was ultimately really good. It was relatable. The problems that she describes are really clearly defined. The solutions and tools and processes that she provides are really, I think they have a lot of potential to be helpful to people who Um, and it's basically a book about how people are human beings who have tough conversations in whatever context. And I would recommend, and I have recommended this book to anyone who's, who cares about people, who's interested in kicking ass at being human. Whether you think you're a leader or not, which definitely defines myself. So, yeah. Two thumbs up.

Addi:

Yes. I recommended this book because I also love BrenéBrown. Just she knows how to hit you right where it counts and give you actionable things so that you can actually be like, oh, this is a thing I should be aware of. And, is there something I can do about that? Wow. So, given that we all love it, what was y'all's biggest takeaway? If you have the one thing you're taking away from this book, or, I mean, if you can reduce it to one. I don't know.

Blake:

I found myself taking, Oh, sorry, Joe. I was taking a bunch of notes in my bullet journal as I was reading this. And it was just sort of like, I felt like I was doing it with the inspirational quote thing on the wall. Like I was back in elementary school or something, but the one I wrote down that I keep referring to over and over again is asking for help is a power move, and I feel like that is something I'm definitely not good at, and I would like to get better at, but also I think it's a really healthy way to frame teamwork, and collaboration, is a big part of leadership, I think, and reframing something like that that can come with a lot of sort of shame and anxiety and self doubt, Thank you. As like, no, this is just what needs to happen to, you know, make someone else feel good about their skills because they can help me out just the way she talks about that in the book, I thought was, was really great and really powerful and something I need to remind myself of,

Joe:

I really like the concept of, I think she calls it showing up in the arena or man in the arena. There's a quote that goes with this, but you know, I didn't read it in my Kindle, so I don't have it highlighted and I can't remember. But, um, the concept of like, give more credit and more voice to the persons who are showing up and doing the work. And that was something that really stood out for me. And I think in part as a reminder that if you want to have your voice heard as a leader in, in any sphere, it's important to also be doing the work that you're asking other people to do. Yeah, that, that really struck me. I kind of related it to we ran a workshop recently and there was some parts about it that were stressing me out and just like, I really don't want to do this. What if I get it wrong? What if I don't facilitate the workshop? Well, and in the end, it was just a reminder of like, you know, showing up and doing something is better than being over here on the side and stressing about it for so long and just doing nothing. And even if it ends up not being great, at least it's better than it would have been if somebody just sat by and like, you know, backseat drives this thing.

Ashley:

I think for me, one of the, one of my big takeaways and I, and I feel like this happens a lot with her books in particular, because it's not necessarily something I didn't know, but having it like spelled out in. Said back to me for some reason made it like it just hit a little different. But just like the vulnerability aspect of leadership and like it being okay to not know. The things and it being okay to vocalize that like, don't know the next step, but we're gonna figure it out together. I think I often feel like I often feel a lot of trepidation in leadership roles because I don't know it all and. In my mind, it's like, well, you're leading. You have to know the things if you're gonna do it. But I feel like it's really similar to what Blake and Joe are saying. It's okay to say that you don't know. It's okay to collaborate in a leadership role. And like, being there and showing up with that vulnerability, like, goes so much farther than pretending like you know it all when you just actually don't.

Joe:

I kind of leaning into that a little bit. Like she also kind of gets into the ideas around like the learning that happens when you recover from your failures and like show up and be vulnerable and make a mistake. aNd that's okay. Cause that is okay. As long as you then learn from the mistake and improve

Addi:

Mm hmm.

Joe:

the next time. And again, for me, that goes back to that whole, like, Ah, what if I get it wrong? And it's like, well, at least it's an opportunity to get it wrong and have tried something and decide that now that's not going to work. How should I do this better next time?

Addi:

Yeah. And I will point out, the vast majority of the book is about vulnerability. Like she's, it's got four skillsets, but a lot of the focus of the book is on the foundational skillset of vulnerability, um, that she starts off with. I mean, it's the foundation of what she's trying to teach us in this book, for sure.

Amber:

I liked the... I don't know if I liked it, but it was helpful to, to learn to contrast armoring yourself, versus courage to enter into a, a tough conversation. And she really convinced me that if Like, I can equip myself for a tough conversation, and she provides a lot of tools for that. And that's different than kind of doing self protection, in an unhealthy way. And she really clarifies that for me. And vulnerability is super scary. And has gone really, really wrong many, many times and it's, you know, there's a lot of, there can be a lot of pain and hurt and just, well, feeling vulnerable associated with vulnerability, right? So I think she makes a good case for courage and, but she doesn't just send you in blind, you know? She really provides, like, alternatives to self protective armor, as she puts it. And, and how you can, you can prepare and you can use tools and, and you can communicate. Better and, and truthfully and it can end up with you feeling more connected to that person and, and you end up with a more meaningful outcome. Even though it was difficult to go through, you end up with more meaning. And I think that that is going, I'm hoping, I am hopeful that that will lead to a lot more happiness instead of the unhappiness that can come from just repeated tough conversations gone wrong. So.

Addi:

Yeah. I took a lot of things away. I think one of the things that like, I don't know if she explicitly states it in a quote anywhere or anything, but one of the things I really take away from this is that, and she does sort of talk about it like a little bit more some of this at the end in terms of talking about quoting someone about being a leader and being able to hold opposites. And that, you know, like there's just, there's so much stuff going on and there's like all this excitement and there's all this fear and all of these things that are trying to balance out and, you know, taking care of what you have, but also growing into something new. And that there are all these opposites and I feel like, you know, beyond that, just from like a business perspective or something, but like just like in life, being aware of the, the oxymorons of life and that. And that is what life is and being open to holding that and being present for it is so key to being able to really see, to really understand things that are happening for like me personally in my life, what's happening at work, what's happening, you know, in, in this community or that community, to not lock myself up and like, you know, armor myself in this certainty Of a, of one side of something, or, you know, one aspect, because there's sort of always two sides to the coin. And so that was just sort of like a general reminder, and it's, and it's hard to sit with though, it's really uncomfortable to sit with two opposites when you just want the certainty of one, you know, and that, and that's, that's the task, that's the job. That's the work that sort of underlies a lot of the stuff that I felt like she was talking about. So that was just sort of what was pinging around in my brain for a while afterwards. Does anybody have any drawbacks or warnings or stuff that you didn't like or didn't understand even?

Blake:

I've got one. Like a couple other folks have mentioned, there's a whole bunch of really good, like actionable exercises and tools throughout the entire book. She makes it seem too damn easy. Like, this is really complicated, frustrating, hard stuff, and, all of the stories in the book are just tackled like, well, this is a piece of cake. You just do X, Y, and Z. And I don't think that survives every business culture, certainly. I think, It works well when you have people on board and bought into this sort of world view and this sort of model. But, I know in speaking with some other folks in my life that, leadership doesn't work this way in a lot of places and a lot of different facets of life. And for me, at least, and from my view, this is totally the right way to go about trying to be a leader, but, actually implementing it, I feel like is really, really hard and probably not as. as painless as it kind of comes across in the book a little bit. really think that's a negative. I mean, I think the hard work is sort of the point of the book. And I think she calls that out quite a bit, but it just, it seems like as you read the book, this is, of course, the way things should work. And like, it's just sort of obvious in a, in a good way. Yeah, really hard to implement and really hard to sit with and get right. Cause it's, there's sort of no end goal, right? It's always like a process of improvement.

Addi:

Yeah, it's interesting, we could go off on a whole thing about like, what is leadership and who are leaders and that kind of a thing. Which I'm not going to go completely down that road, but in terms of like, yeah, this is great personal work that I can do in terms of interacting. I mean, whether or not you're in a position of authority or not, these are all things that matter, as you said, being human, like being a human being and trying to have relationship with other people. All this stuff is good and it works. And also, what is the, what does that look like when you try to introduce it into a. Business or an organization, a community that is too afraid to take these chances with you. And what does, what does that look like? Or how does that play out? You know, and can you lead by example, or is it just not work? And it's not worth the effort. So I think that's an interesting question that she doesn't go into in the book, which is fair enough because she's going into a lot of stuff in the book. but yeah, sort of comes back to that, like, that would be great if everybody was on board with this, but if they're not on board with it. Now, what do I do? How do I

Joe:

There's like this expectation in the book of like, well, you as an individual just need to start doing these things and tada, you'll be a better leader. And while that's true, like it doesn't. I wish I got a little bit more into addressing like what kind of structural or systemic barriers are going to exist within an organization that's going to stop you from being able to do that. And, and how do you do that? How do you get over that? Or like, what if I show up one day and I'm like, I'm going to be more vulnerable. And my boss is like, I don't care. I just want outcomes and, like, and your pay is tied to those outcomes, not your vulnerability. I'm like, Oh, I'm sorry. I'm actually not going to be more vulnerable. I take it all back. And Addi, like you say, it's hard to address everything in a single book, but if I had a criticism, it would be that I wish it talked a little bit more about how to implement some of this, like. System wide and not just as an individual.

Addi:

Yeah. I also feel like there is a lot in the book and she has lots of tools and even has like worksheets for you to work through and stuff, which is great. And I also found myself being like, Oh, my gosh, how much time do I need to actually. Work through all of these tools and like implement them, you know, so yeah, not a criticism because I think it's great and I think it's very much a case of what thing calls to you the most or what thing resonates with you most and maybe take that aside and work on it. But it was also, it was one of those kind of like, oh, there's so much good stuff and I want to do all of it. And now I'm overwhelmed, kind of feeling, that came out of it for sure. So I kind of want to go back and sort of, think through what does implementation of this look like for me, without, you know, freaking myself out, basically. And, and of course, like, there's also another conversation that we can have as a team of, like, what, if any of this, do we want to implement? As a team, going forward and things like that, but definitely need like time for that, that thought process and conversation to happen. Cause there's, there's just so much stuff in there for sure. All right. So she has four skill sets of daring leadership in the book. That's how the book is. Presented and you have sections. The first section, like I said, is is like huge. It's the majority of the book, which is rumbling with vulnerability and she put, you know, she calls out several times like this is the foundational thing. And if you cannot rumble with vulnerability, the other stuff isn't going to happen or it's not going to affect in the way that you want it to. And then she has living into our values. Braving trust and learning to rise, which is the failure learning from failure. And so of these four just skill sets and sort of what she was talking about. Did any one or more of them, I guess, like resonate in particular for you? And that can be either for you personally or for us as an organization, like at work and, and something that you'd see, maybe we should, should be investigating and leaning into more

Amber:

Well, I don't know exactly, I don't remember exactly how she puts it, but she says something along the lines of how working on yourself, defining yourself is first before you can really lead, you know, lead. And after that huge section, like the long section on vulnerability, honestly, the living into your values thing was I latched right onto that because it was like, it was kind of a relief. And after all of this, like hard self introspection on things, like, you know, anyway, the living, I, so I really latched onto the living interior values because I, we've thought about that as a team personally. I have, but I really haven't done In my opinion, like enough work on that, or I've kind of seen kind of gaps in how I'm defining my values for myself. So that's what I, that's what really resonated with me. I feel like that's like a good starting point for me to dig into. These tools because it's like, it's not an easy win, but it sort of feels like easier than all the other things, you know, it's like, I can at least start here and, and define my values, like the one or two values that are really central And reflect on that and work on everything else seems to like, kind of flow through that. And then I can work on the other, other things first. So I, yeah, I liked the living into your value section the most.

Addi:

nice. That totally

Blake:

I'll kind of take the counter to that where I feel like. I think the living in your value section is really important, but I am terrible at going through those activities and like actually picking values. I'll look at the big checklist and be like, I like these 25 and I don't care that you told me to take two. I like 25 deal with it. So for me, like, that's the one that definitely if I'm getting the elementary school report card for myself and need improvement on that one for sure. But I think the rumbling with vulnerability stood out the most in part because it's. More than half the book, but also I feel like that's the piece that sort of has to happen inside of an organization, especially before any of the other stuff kind of can work like you have to have a, you have to have a culture where you're comfortable with taking enough risk to fail before you can fail successfully, or, you have to be comfortable being vulnerable with somebody before you can really trust them, I think. So for me, that one is sort of the bedrock of everything else. But I hear what you're saying, Amber, about the living into your values. I think that's really important. I just think that I'm terrible at defining that and probably it's a sign I need to spend more time on some of those exercises and some of that part of the book.

Amber:

For what it's worth, I'm also whittling down from 25.

Joe:

It's kind of like that scenario where everyone always asks you like, so Joe, what are your personal goals? And you're, it's just like, I'm okay with not having any right now. Like that's fine. Thought that from. The perspective of all of us working together, that the rumbling with vulnerability had the most takeaways for me, especially because like, I just kept picturing myself on a zoom call with all of you implementing these different practices. And I was like, ah, that's what this would feel like to do on a zoom call. Yeah. That's what this would feel like. And maybe my next step there was like, I feel like. As a company, we already do a really good job of giving each other the space and the permission to be vulnerable. Like, I don't, I don't see us having, for example, institutional blockers to someone being vulnerable. But I do think there's an opportunity for us to institutionalize it a bit more. And in the book, um, she talks a lot about, you know, there are different practices for meetings and they had specific names for when you do, you know, are vulnerable in a certain way, or you call a stop to a meeting or whatever. And, you know, it's sort of like, while We all have permission to do that. We don't, it's not necessarily a formal, like this is how you do it. And I, I personally, I think that having a formal, this is how you do it, makes it easier to do it in those moments when you're feeling really vulnerable because you don't have to spend the sort of capital thinking about, you know, the willpower to figure out how am I going to do this? You can just spend the willpower thinking, okay, I'm actually going to push this button right now.

Ashley:

I would agree that the vulnerability portion, hit home the most, I think, for a lot of reasons. I think because it pertains to so much of my personal life also, and it really forced me to see myself and I was just like, whoo, you know? You've got, you've got some work to do, around this topic. And it's also I feel like it's kind of like a theme in her books. I've only read two, so I could, like, really be jumping the gun here. But it was also part of the last book as well that I read. And I'm just gosh, this thing is, really important, like, in my life. And I should probably, spend some time working on it. And I feel like I gravitated, I gravitate towards it, because I think that it is the area where I need the most, refinement. Like, it, it requires more attention for me, like, thousands.

Addi:

Yeah. I, you know, the, yeah, the vulnerability thing of course is like a huge section. Of the book and I feel like, sort of like Joe saying, like as an organization, there's probably a lot that we can do to, I mean, work on all the things in here, but I think, one of the things I find important in other groups that I've been working with this year is creating the container and the expectation for vulnerability. Completely changes. So it's not like it's not possible or not allowed. But when someone specifically comes out and builds this room that says this is this safe space. This is why it is safe. This is how it is safe. This is how we will all agree to behave in this room. And this is how you can express yourself. Just Yeah, just changes everything about how you actually interact. And so I feel like that's definitely a thing I would like us to actively work on and, and change for sure. As like a, a pretty big first step, I think, for me. Personally, I ended up the, the braving trust was really interesting because she has this acronym braving and sort of these different steps and it's very much like these are questions to ask. And are you actually in this relationship right now with this person? Are all of these elements. In play, and I feel like that's just something that it's just, it's a really interesting way to break down trust and what trust is, and actually checking sort of real time is, is this actually a trusting situation or not? And if it's not, why not? So I kind of want to play with that a little bit, uh, for sure on my own.

Joe:

I like the, the idea of building the container in which you can be vulnerable or holding space for, for people that express themselves. And I, to some extent, I think that's kind of like the, that's how as a business you get to live into your values. And, you know, a little bit of like, it's one thing to say, we support you in doing this, go ahead and do it if you want to. And another to say, like, here's the space to do that. The time, you know, like And, and you can do it anytime you want to, but also I set aside time for you to do it on Wednesdays at two. You now have nothing in your schedule. Go take care of that. And that's such a different approach to a business living its values then I think what is more common, which is like, Hey, we listed a bunch of things in our handbook that our values. And we say, you can, you can do them, but you have to ask, or you have to like be, you're responsible for doing it. It's such a different thing than someone else kind of holding the space for you to do it.

Addi:

hmm. Yep.

Amber:

Yeah, I think that in our organization, we have a lot of assumptions around the things discussed in these books, but to have some actions and to really implement these things, just like you said, is, it's going to be the key for us to really be authentic in how we live into our values and how we do all of these things. So, yeah, I think we assume Thank you. That we're doing okay, and I think that we probably are, but there's, there's so much room for improvement that we've all, like, learned this, if I think that there's a lot of room personally for improvement, that, like, that translates out to, well, then that affects the team. I'm a part of this team. If I need improvement, then that means the team, and maybe the team can help me, and that whole asking for help thing, and, Providing those rules and building that container. It also leads to a lot of creative solutions. Because once you have those constraints, and you have these rules, then, you, there's a lot more, there's actually a lot more freedom there. So, yeah. I'm excited for the future. And for, you know, for us trying out these things and putting them into practice. I think it's going to be a little rough at first. But, I think, Once we get into the practice of it, it'll, it'll be really meaningful work.

Addi:

Yeah, we have a lot to learn, which would make Brene very happy. We're going to make a lot of mistakes. Everybody is going to be awesome.

Joe:

I'm just waiting for the moment when our interactions on zoom are like the equivalent of some of the anecdotes in the book, where it is like, like the a hundred percent perfect application of the thing that I've just told you about. And you're like that, that's not how conversations happen in real life. I get what you're illustrating here, but come on,

Addi:

And then suddenly we'll be like. Whoa. Did we just do a Brené?

Amber:

someone will say, Amber, are you reading out of the book right now?

Joe:

right?

Addi:

Totally. Well, thanks everybody for reading the book and coming on to talk about it. I am excited for conversations that we're going to have on our team calls in the future as we sort out how do we want to implement them This stuff and and sort of take these lessons to heart. Like what does that actually really mean for us? Day to day going forward like what changes do we want to make and then how are we going to implement those and I think that's going to be good conversations and I look forward to being uncomfortable with you all

Amber:

yay?

Addi:

so anyway, yeah, thanks everybody

Ashley:

It's like, I think that's good. Yay.

Addi:

Hey, so thanks for listening and let us know if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for what you'd like to hear more about. You can find all of the various ways to reach us on our website at osiolabs.com. That's O S I O L A B S.com. Also, please make sure to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast provider of choice. We'll catch you on the next episode.