I’ve always been fascinated by leadership. What makes a great leader? Are these magical traits inherent or learned? How does leadership change with experience and self-awareness? Today, I’m still charmed by the topic and not sure I have any more answers than when I started, but certainly have more questions!
For the past six-plus years, I’ve been a Certified Daring Greatly™ facilitator and in the past two years, a Certified Dare to Lead™ facilitator in the powerful teachings of Brené Brown. This has refocused my examination of leadership through the lens of courage, which also happens to be one my top three values.
I became very interested in courage and leadership while taking part in one of those “break them down so we can build them up” weekend retreats. In many respects, it was not a pleasant experience, though one thing that stuck with me was the notion of the “Man in the Arena” – something we use in Dare to Lead work:
“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 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.”– Theodore Roosevelt
I’m granting Teddy Roosevelt a pass on the gender restricted language, given it was 1921 when he penned these words, but it is a profound statement, nonetheless.
One of my passions is my own learning and growth. I relish examining what I need to move toward and what I can let go of as I adapt to changes in my life, changes with my clients’ needs and the world in general. Since March 2020, I think we’ve all had cause to reflect on our own leadership journeys and the role of courage in our lives.
Brené Brown’s latest Dare to Lead curriculum has given me many practical research-based tools to share with my clients. These include ways to examine courage levels; to practise genuine empathetic responses; to understand how personal values shape one’s world view; clear and concise language around courageous conversations (called Rumble tools); various assessments to examine trust in self, in others and teams; examining when one “armours up” vs. practising courageous leadership; and knowing the value of self-compassion.
Sound interesting to you? I’m launching a new, virtual Dare to LeadTM series starting at the end of September. Please let me know if it’s time for you to soar and renew your personal commitment to leadership and courage.