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Leadership; a major quality required for success. It is a quality of making the people or masses follow you. The action exhibited to lead a group of people or an organization is known as leadership and the person who carries on this action is known as a leader. Leaders do not do the tasks for their followers but give them a direction to do so. They set directions for people and become the guiding light to achieve their goals. Leaders also perform the task of setting up goals for their followers but do not take the steps for those people to achieve those goals.
Not all people are born leaders, this trait is learned in many cases. It is a long and ongoing debate that whether leaders are born or made. Many experts are of the views that a leader is born; a person, when born, carries that power and spark in them that makes the other people follow them. On the other hand, there are many researchers who agree that leaders are made, in the hands of situations and circumstances. These scholars hold the stance that a person becomes a leader because his or her conditions make him like that; the characteristics that are required to become a good leader are instilled in them, due to the circumstances, which keep growing with the passage of time and ultimately these people come out to lead masses.
One such intellect who holds similar ideas is Brené Brown. Mrs. Brown belongs to that group of people who believe that leaders are not born but chiseled according to the types of circumstances. She explains her point of view in her recent bestselling publication “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.”
“Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts” by Brené Brown was published under the banner of Ebury Publishing and was released on October 9, 2018. The book, after its publication, immediately became a talk of the town and its copies started selling like hot cakes. The book could be found courageously flashing its cover on the bookshelves of almost every bookstore and every bookworm loved it to cores. It also received great acclamation by the critics and readers both. The book went on to become the no1 bestseller by the New York Times in a very short time just after its release.
Based on updated research conducted with change makers, leaders and culture shifters, the writer makes up the minds of her readers that what are the qualities and traits a good leader should possess. She dares the world to take bold steps, and put their ideas to practice so that they can lead and shine.
In her publication, the American author explains what exactly it takes to be a leader, or to be more precise, a great leader. The readers will be surprised to learn that as per the definitions of Mrs. Brown, many political leaders do not even come close by inches to being a good leader. In the words of Brené Brown, a leader is a mature and responsible person, who knows exactly how to take his or her people up. She states in the book, “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” (Brown, 2018) These lines explain that people, who think that leadership is only about tittle, seat, status or wielding power are undoubtedly wrong.
A leader is, in fact, a person who recognizes the true potential in his or her people and develops that potential. The leader encourages them to pursue their dreams and gives them the power to do so. A true leader rises as an inspiration for its people and persuades them to be their best. She states in her book, “Daring leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging.” A good leader does only push their followers to achieve the heights of success but also work along with them. (Brown, 2018)
In “Dare to lead”, Mrs. Brown encourages her readers to come out of their comfort zones. She is of the view that a person cannot greatness until unless they decide to be rough and tough. She has repeatedly laid emphasis on being strong and look at the brighter sides of the things. In her book, she urges to “choose courage over comfort”, which clearly shows that she believes that a leader is tough. No great man has achieved heights while remaining in their comfort zone, and the author knows it clearly, so she stresses over being brave and courageous.
Brené Brown knows precisely what it takes to make a good leader. After spending more than two decades in the field of leadership and researching over the emotions that bring meaning in the life, Brown has come to some really helping and meaningful insights, which she has summed up in her latest book, “Dare to lead”. She has observed leaders and change makers in various fields; from business organizations to political leaders of countries, from leaders of small families to managers of big enterprises, the author has collected facts from every nook and corner of the subject. After careful observation and analysis, the American bestseller came to a final observation that every area, every organization, every tribe, every country wants to cultivate more braver and daring leaders. They need more and more courageous should to lead them
In the book, the courageous writer Brené Brown also highlights an important quality that every leader should possess. She states, “Show up for people in pain and don’t look away.” It is a very short but very powerful statement. A person who is there for you in the times of need is always remembered in good words, in fact, that person is regarded as an angle by many. Same is the stance taken by Mrs. Brown while telling the traits of a good leader in her book. At another place, she writes, “So often, when someone is in pain, we’re afraid to say, “Yes, this hurts. Yes, this is a big deal. Yes, this sucks.” We think our job is to make things better, so we minimize the pain.” (Brown, 2018) She tells her readers that a good leader should always be there for his or her followers in times of distress. A good leader stands shoulder to shoulder with his followers in tough times and never leaves the side if his or her people, no matter whatever the circumstances are. This is what that makes a leader popular and loved among the masses.
One of the major functions that a leader performs is the development of a powerful and motivating culture, in which everyone can fit in. Usually, it has been observed that brave leaders fail to create a friendly culture, where the followers can communicate directly to the leader. Although such leaders have shown traits of velour and courage but have failed to develop trust and respect. Instead, the people under their rule used to fear them and their period was defined by scarcity and uncertainty. Mrs. Brown strictly discourages this practice and advises to “build a culture of trust” among the followers. The writer compels the readers to develop the values of empathy, trust, courage, and vulnerability to be a very good and liked ruler. She also strongly advices not to criticize or discourage a person, believes in trying. She has always been a fan of such people who keep trying despite failing numerous times. She supports the notion that the universe falls in love with a stubborn heart, which is why a person should never leave trying and the others should never discourage or demotivate them. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” (Brown, 2018)
Along with this, the bestselling author uses examples from her personal life, to elaborate on the importance of vulnerability in real life. She explains how these traits have helped her in achieving excellence in all the roles of her life, like being a parent, spouse, teacher, friend and a peer. She exclaims that she wants to excel in every role in her life; she does not want to fail. The author wants to keep going and progressing with her life; she wishes to be an encourager, rather than a person who criticizes everything and everybody. The following life brilliantly sums up her passion to be kind and helping person, “At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized.” (Brown, 2018)
One of the very positive things about the book is that it includes real-life instances and stories from the lives of popular leaders. Whether from the arenas of politics or the offices of the corporate sector, these leaders have proven to be extremely skilled and best players of their grounds. These lines prove her effort of research, “We asked a thousand leaders to list marble-earning behaviors—what do your team members do that earns your trust? The most common answer: asking for help. When it comes to people who do not habitually ask for help, the leaders we polled explained that they would not delegate important work to them because the leaders did not trust that they would raise their hands and ask for help. Mind. Blown.” (Brown, 2018)
If asked to summarize, the entire pieces of writing can be encapsulated in these sentences, the wordsmith writes at another place in the book, “One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.” (Brown, 2018) These comprehensive lines can be as the essence of the whole book. It contains all the important ingredients incorporated in the piece of writing that is required for successful leadership. It stresses over being brave instead of hiding inside your den.
This is not the only piece of writing that has won the title of no bestseller by the author. Brené Brown has already won the title of being the best seller author four times in a row. The books that have won the title of no 1 New York best seller by the author are: Daring Greatly, Braving the Wilderness, The Gifts of Imperfection and Rising Strong. In addition to this, the celebrated author has spent more than 20 years researching the subjects of courage, empathy, vulnerability, and shame. Working as a research professor at the University of Houston, Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, has a great grip over all these topics and deliver great motivational lectures over them. This the exact reason that Brene's speech, 'The Power of Vulnerability' at TED talks, has occupied the position among the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with more than 35 million views.
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that "Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts." is an exceptional piece of writing penned down by Brené Brown. The celebrated author has put a great amount of effort and research in the book, which truly shows in the writing. The book stresses various skills and qualities that a true leader should possess, in order to be a popular and favorite ruler among their followers. The major skills that have been endorsed in the book are courage, vulnerability, bravery, empathy, relatedness, and belonging. The author encourages the readers to come out of their comfort zone, only in this way they can achieve unbelievably. Brené Brown understands the extreme need of society and organizations for daring and competitive leaders, which compelled her to write this book. The writing style that has been adopted for this book is very simple yet persuasive. It touches the minds and motivates the reader to take immediate action, and bring change in their lives.
Brown, B. (2018). Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Random House.
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