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BW Businessworld

Dare To Lead- Brene Brown

A leader needs to set boundaries. Setting boundaries is about making it clear what is okay and what is not okay and why.

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A leader is someone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and who also has the courage to develop that potential. 


We need braver leaders and more courageous cultures.


In terms of culture, what stands in the way becomes the way!


Behaviors that get in the way in organizations

1. Avoiding tough conversations, no honest and productive feedback

2. Do not spend time acknowledging and addressing feelings and fears

3. Diminishing trust

4. Afraid of being ridiculed for saying something new or trying something new

5. Not enough learning, too much blame and shame


You cannot get to courage without talking about vulnerability.


Courage is contagious


Trust is built in small moments and not the big moments.


The behaviors people need from their teams or group almost always include listening, staying curious, being honest and keeping confidence.


A leader needs to set boundaries. Setting boundaries is about making it clear what is okay and what is not okay and why.


To feel is to be vulnerable, believing that vulnerability is a weakness is to say feeling is a weakness.


Everything sounds easy when it is months away.


People cannot handle loneliness, it is a manifestation of exhaustion


Other people’s jobs are not our jobs. We cannot serve people and control their emotions.


Daring leadership is about serving others, not ourselves.


‘Power is the ability to achieve purpose and effect change’ – Martin Luther King Jr


People love the truth in organizations since its so rare.


Shame is a not good enough emotion. 


Where shame exits in an organization, empathy doesn’t exist.


All sports rely on key fundamentals, those skills are drilled into players from day one. Developing fundamental skills through disciplined practice is what gives players the grounded confidence to dare greatly.


Leadership is the ability to throve in the ambiguity of paradoxes and opposites.


Easy learning does not build strong skills.


You cannot focus on a five year plan when the culture now is not good.


Lessons from Old Navy turnaround

1. Changing the bad culture of hierarchy, silos, politics and fear to entrepreneurial, fast moving and empowering.

2. Getting people to share their true feelings and insights and not be scared of hierarchy and thus build a culture of trust.

3. Focus on learning and checking how fast one can improve

4. Making the management team accessible and working as one to the organization.


We have to be able to take feedback irrespective of how it is delivered and apply it productively. We have to do this because mastery requires feedback.


The ultimate goal in receiving feedback- a skillful blend of listening, integrating feedback and reflecting it back with accountability.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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D. Shivakumar

The author is Group Executive President – Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Aditya Birla Group

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