How you can effectively lead without the fancy titles and ‘playbooks.’
Leadership doesn’t always come with titles and positions.
Leadership is all about taking responsibility.
It is not about having all the answers but about asking the right questions. It is all about getting out of your comfort zone and rising above yourself.
A leader is someone who not only sees hidden potential in people and things but also takes the responsibility of developing that potential.
They create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging to their work.
For 20 years, author Brown has studied vulnerability. Dare to Lead brings her extensive research around shame and its cure, empathy.
Throughout the book, she mixes the outcomes of a seven-year project on vulnerability and leadership, which Brown planned and executed.
The three main lessons from the book are:
- To be a daring leader, you need to be vulnerable
- Being transparent with your team creates respect
- Sharing values builds trust throughout a team
Lesson One: To be a bold leader, you need to be vulnerable
Vulnerability isn’t easy nor fun.
It’s also hard to say with my Australian accent.
But to be a daring leader, you need to be able to show up in the face of setbacks. You need to be ready for disappointments and challenging emotions.
Your vulnerability doesn’t guarantee victory or defeat.
What vulnerability does do is make sure you are open to engaging with situations and team members as they arise.
Without being vulnerable, you’ll stop growing as a leader.
When you’re challenged as a leader, you have a great chance to strengthen an environment of inclusion.
For example, let’s say you’ve been called out on setting unrealistic timelines for your team. A leader might recognize that there is truth to this feedback but stop short of gathering more information.
To be a daring leader, you should pause and ask others to say more about the obstacles they have undergone as a consequence of the timeline.
Lesson Two: Being transparent with your team creates respect
Okay, let’s get a few things clear.
Clear communication is kind and respectful.
Unclear communication is unkind.
But, we all are unclear with our communication from time to time. Usually, we are vague with the intention of not hurting anyone’s feelings.
Leaders cannot afford this luxury and must be transparent in their communication.
Teammates who don’t know what’s expected of them could end up being blamed for underperforming.
It is easy to avoid these hard conversations, but you need to tackle them head-on.
A lack of communication does damage to any team.
So, make sure you’re clear and direct, as it helps everyone feel valued.
Lesson Three: Sharing values build trust throughout a team
You need to get some core values in your organization.
In fact, everyone should start sharing their core values.
Our values are what drives our actions. Learning about the core values of your team members is essential to working together.
Still, it’s not enough just to know each other’s values. You need to go deeper.
You need to know how to support the values of those around you.
For example, imagine you have a team member who places a high value on belonging.
They need a sense of connection and conversations about things outside of work.
Once the team knows this, they can support them and make them feel valued.
Not only does this pay on a personal level, but it also pays on the bottom line.
Being aware of the human side of business operations can require some significant resources.
Sure, you probably look at the cost and time involved with embracing the team’s values. However, it is far more cost-effective and efficient than cleaning up the mess of low productivity.
To be a daring leader, you have to be curious about your teams.
You have to care.
Put The Book Into Action
Start to make a list of your core values as a person.
However, I want you to limit it to only three.
Well, how many times have you logged on to a company’s website and seen the ‘about us’ page, which lists about thirty different values?
Sure, it sounds good, but it is impossible.
Our values drive our actions, so we must only pick the best.
Here are the steps to creating your three core values:
- List down all the benefits you want or feel you have
- Then, compare two and see which one is more important by comparing them. For example, “given the situation, would I be friendly, or honest?” What you answer with should guide you in selecting values.
Have your team all collect their three core values and share.
My Personal Takeaway
Everyone needs leadership advice from time to time.
Even if you’re not in charge of a team, you are a leader of those around you.
I strongly recommend Brown as an author. Her writing is accessible, funny at times, and incredibly honest. Which, I guess is the point of the book isn’t it.