"We Need Braver Leaders and More Courageous Cultures" 150 top C-Level Global Leaders

When Brene’ Brown sat down with 150 of the top C-level global leaders to interview them for her latest book “Dare to Lead” she didn’t waste any time. She led with one big question that has the potential to change the way we lead in the future.  She asked,

“What, if anything, about the way people are leading today needs to change in order for leaders to be successful in a complex, rapidly changing environment where we’re faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation?”

 CEO’s answered, We need braver leaders and more courageous cultures. 

In the discussions that followed, Dr. Brown discovered there are ten common behaviors and cultural issues getting in the way of organizations around the world.  

In every instance, braver leadership and cultures where courage is rewarded were revealed as the antidotes to mitigating these barriers. 

I’ve repeated the ten barriers below. As you read through this list, consider if your organization is struggling in similar ways. 

Ten Common Behaviors & Cultural Issues Getting In The Way of Organizations 

1.     We avoid tough conversations, including giving honest, productive feedback. 

2.     Rather than spending a reasonable amount of time proactively acknowledging and addressing the fears and feelings that show up during change and upheaval, we spend an unreasonable amount of time managing problematic behaviors. 

3.     Diminishing trust caused by a lack of connection and empathy. 

4.     Not enough people are taking smart risks or creating and sharing bold ideas to meet changing demands and the insatiable need for innovation. 

5.     We get stuck and defined by setbacks, disappointments, and failures, so instead of spending resources on clean-up to ensure that consumers, stakeholders, or internal processes are made whole, we are spending too much time and energy reassuring team members who are questioning their contribution and value. 

6.     Too much shame and blame, not enough accountability and learning. 

7.     People are opting out of vital conversations about diversity and inclusivity because they fear looking wrong, saying something wrong, or being wrong. Choosing our own comfort over hard conversations is the epitome of privilege, and it corrodes trust and moves us away from meaningful and lasting change. 

8.     When something goes wrong, individuals and teams are rushing into ineffective or unsustainable solutions rather than staying with problem identification and solving. When we fix the wrong thing for the wrong reason, the same problems continue to surface. It’s costly and demoralizing. 

9.     Organizational values are gauzy and assessed in terms of aspirations rather than actual behaviors that can be taught, measured, and evaluated. 

10.  Perfectionism and fear are keeping people from learning and growing. 

The good news?  The courage that is needed to combat these barriers is 100% teachable. Brown uncovered these four teachable courage-building skill sets:

1.    Rumbling With Vulnerability

2.    Living Into Your Values

3.    Braving Trust

4.    Learning To Rise

I’ll be digging in to each of these four over the coming weeks. In the meantime, order the book “Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” here: https://amzn.to/2pArQpK