Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

I think that we can all agree that as a leader, one must to be courageous and willing to overcome whilst also embracing the uncertainty, risks and ensuing challenges that will come from that role. Whether we like it or not, uncertainty may not be part of the job description but it will present itself in many different ways, and will likely be a key part of the role. This courage to ‘step into the arena’ and not only challenge but embrace uncertainty help in shaping us as leaders, but can also play a vital part in shaping us as people. This is because, this sometimes deeply frightening and disconcerting feeling of not knowing appears constantly in our everyday lives and overcoming it through a willingness to be seen, engaged and vulnerable, as postulated the brilliant Dr Brené Brown, can be the key to achieving ‘wholehearted living’. This bolsters our ability to experience the highly sought after feelings of love and belonging. Therefore, I have come to understand that by being vulnerable and deeply engaging with not only eachother but also ourselves, we are in fact Daring Greatly. This discovery came about from the transformative journey offered by the author by first touching on what exactly it means to dare greatly, wonderfully encapsulated in the powerful speech delivered by distinguished former President of The USA, Theodore Roosevelt, which the author credits as one of the crucial pillars on which the foundation of this book is built, as it highlights the importance of making an effort, taking risks and that there will be some form of reward whether or not one achieves what they initially set out to, as at the very least they will still have stepped into the arena and dared greatly. Then she proceeds to write about one of the biggest barriers we encounter when attempting to challenge this uncertainty, this barrier being shame and how this coupled with our modern culture of unworthiness or ‘never enough’, has caused us to avoid such risks and forebode potential joy that inherently leaves us vulnerable. She offers examples from interviews as well as from her own personal life that allow readers to acutely resonate with and relate to the message. Finally, she sets out to negate the different stigma that have been holding us back from vulnerability, such as gender stereotypes regarding vulnerability, and offers adept advice on how we can utilise elements like gratitude and empathy to condusively promote engagement throughout our lives and the roles we play as leaders in various settings. We have not only the capacity but the opportunity to be disruptive, connect and put ourselves out there for everyone’s benefit, by daring as leaders to take that leap and bridge the gap between our practiced and aspirational values, and it seems apparent that it is not an extraordinary shift in the right direction that will allow us to be vulnerable, but it is being vulnerable that will allow an extraordinary shift in the right direction.  

Ryan Mbai

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