I’m Dare to Lead™ Certified!

I have loved Brené Brown’s Ted Talks and books for years. But it wasn’t until a client asked us to focus on bravery for an upcoming leadership retreat last year that I got into a deeper study of her work.

To teach something you have to get it into your bones!

I started with Braving the Wilderness, then Dare to Lead, and then went back and fully read and re-read the Gifts of Imperfection. Her research explained so much of my life and the lives of others I lead, love, and live with.

I jumped on her website and saw that she was offering a certification for the first time for the her newest book, focused on leaders in organizations, Dare to Lead™. The application was grueling. With 30 years of experience and a lot of training, her team wanted proof of everything I’d ever done. I thought, “This is a very high bar!”

It spurred me on. My competitive spirit kicked in. I had to win this!

It took a month to complete all that was required for the application until finally I got word that I was accepted. Then came the “pre-work” — oh here is the renowned Professor Brown. Yes, she is obviously a research professor at a large university.

I was asked 25 thought-provoking questions on every one of her 5 major books. Open the book, read and re-read, find that answer!

Needless to say, I passed and attended the first official Dare to Lead certification last month (March 2019) in San Antonio.

Who else was there? 120 leaders from all over the world with at least 10 other countries represented. Many leaders had backgrounds in healthcare, the military, education, and social services, along with people like me who consult organizations and coach executives.

The Heart of Daring Leadership

It was a beautiful and inspiring experience. By the way, Brené is the same in person as she is on video: fun, real, and committed. She gave us her all for 3 days. We dug into the Heart of Daring Leadership. Here is the short version:

Embrace the suck.

First, you can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability.

Who we are is how we lead.

No kidding, I’ve been saying that for years! In other words, self-awareness and self-love matter.

Courage is contagious.

To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations, we must cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded.

The Past and the Future

Since the beginning of my career, my focus has been transformational leadership, so none of this was new to me. My mentors through the years — starting with Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits, then in the mid-90’s Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence — had a huge influence on my work and on myself as a person. I continue to use Patrick Lencioni’s brilliant, succinct books and digestible models for teams, which helps people examine and talk about trust and explore conflict in healthy ways.

The past 10 years I have been deeply engaged in the Townsend Leadership Program (TLP) created Dr. John Townsend. John built a unique Character Growth model and a program that systematically works on the “inside stuff” of a leader, which is where all real leadership growth starts.

Monthly, members participate in an intensive small group all day. TLP becomes a safe container to build self-awareness, identify and work on goals, and in the process, wrestle with what limits full aliveness and success. Vulnerability is in action at TLP!

I have seen evidence time and time again that when people engage in this way, not only do they achieve many of their goals but their organizations and their families grow too. I lead one TLP group each year, beginning in January and ending in December. I am currently accepting applications, and we are limited to 10 leaders. Fill out an application today!

It’s all part of the same truth — a leader leads from who they are. No matter how smart, savvy, good-looking, degreed, tall, charismatic he or she is, it’s not enough. If a leader’s primary task is to grow and build a successful organization, then a well-thought out strategy alone won’t do it.

Peter Drucker said many years ago, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” In reality, it takes so many things to achieve organizational success: Great systems, high-quality products and services, leading technology, the right timing, and a little luck and more . . . plus a culture where people can bring their best self to work every day so teams can collaboratively kick ass in the marketplace.

A big part of competitive advantage today is also the ability to hire and retain the best and the brightest. An attractive culture is key to this, and it’s no easy task. It’s complicated, because we are human. We need all the tools we can get.

That is why I invested in this Dare to Lead training.

Not because I didn’t already have effective tools. (I’ve been doing this a long time!) However, I love learning and I am always searching for new methods to try on myself and others. And personally, I have to say, I keep seeking the growth I need to have, and in the process I find others need it too!

To summarize what Dare to Lead is all about. It is Courage Training. Over the course of a 16-hour program, participants work through conversations and exercises on these 4 Skill Sets:

  1. Rumbling with Vulnerability

  2. Living into Our Values

  3. Braving Trust

  4. Learning to Rise

Watch Brené Brown’s 1-hour Netflix special Call to Courage!

About The Dare To Lead™ Program

Based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, Dare to Lead™ is an empirically based courage-building program designed to be facilitated by organizational development professionals.

Brené is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and most recently completed a seven-year study on courageous leadership. She is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead, which also debuted at #1 on The Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly list.

The most significant finding from Brené’s latest research is that courage is a collection of four skill sets that are teachable, measurable, and observable. Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitators focus on developing these courage-building skills through workshops, trainings and coaching to help individuals, teams and organizations move from armored leadership to daring leadership.

Further information is available at https://daretolead.brenebrown.com

LeadershipElaine Morris