mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Manager Reads - Dare to Lead

Next up on the Manager Reads is Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown.

Who recommended the book? This book was recommended by Twitch’s VP of Platforms and Services, Michael Comperda, as a nice complement to one of this other recommendations: The Culture Code. I really enjoyed The Culture Code so this was an easy pickup.

Judge the book by its cover, font, page quality? The cover is colorful but not overly so. It leverages a simple color palette of earth tones and a blue-green aqua color gradient. I’m unsure what the torn paper aesthetic around the title is going for though other than providing some texture. The page quality, font selection, leading choice, and point size are all great - no complaints.

Thoughts on the book and the big take-aways? Dare to Lead posits that leadership is not something you innately have or lack. It’s built upon a set of skills that can be practiced and mastered. The book covers the process of learning leadership in four parts:

  1. Rumbling with Vulnerability - Leaders face much uncertainty and risk. Being vulnerable means having the courage to show up and do your best when you may not be in complete control of the situation. Be curious about things that scare you. This part has an excellent section, The Armory, that covers 16 armored (bad) leadership behaviors and the better daring analogues.

  2. Living Into Our Values - Living your values first requires knowing your values. Define your values, the behaviors that support those values, and then practice those behaviors. This part has an excellent exercise on how to identify your two core values and define the behaviors that exhibit that value.

  3. Braving Trust - Trust is built upon things like having boundaries, accountability, integrity, and generosity and is the defining characteristic of the best workplaces. Trust is a living process, keep working at it and tending to it.

  4. Learning to Rise - Being brave means we’ll get into situations in which we’ll fail badly. These falls are learning opportunities and we must not be afraid of them. Failures should be seen as opportunities to become better and more wholehearted.

In short, be courageous and be curious. When we can increase the collective courage within an organization we develop a powerful culture that can grow leaders and accomplish goals.

Favorite quote from the book? “Choose courage over comfort.”

Elevator pitch for suggesting (or not suggesting) the book? There’s a lot covered in this book - and some parts didn’t resonate much with me - but there are two sections that struck me so much that I can recommend picking up this book even if you only read those two sections. The Armory has a fantastic overview of Armored Leadership vs. Daring Leadership behaviors and Living Into Our Values provides an excellent dive on identifying your two core values.

Notes in Evernote? Not courageous enough to pick up this book yet but want to get a feel for what’s inside? Feel free to review my notes on 🐘.

Most of the world’s wisdom is written down in its best books. Manager Reads is a series covering books on management and leadership, focusing on books that can improve your own leadership with the wisdom of others. Enjoyed this post and want to see more? Check out more at Manager Reads.