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  • In this episode of MarieTV, we do have some adult language, so if you have a little ones

  • around grab your headphones now.

  • Hey.

  • It's Marie Forleo, and you're listening to the Marie Forleo Podcast.

  • You know, today's culture is one that's filled with fear, scarcity, and uncertainty.

  • What we need most in times like these are people who are willing to step up, people

  • who are willing to be brave, to be courageous, and to lead with heart.

  • My guest today is here to show us how to do just that.

  • Dr. Brené Brown 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 spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and is

  • the author of four number one New York Times bestsellers: Braving the Wilderness, Rising

  • Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection.

  • Her TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED Talks

  • in the world––yes, in the world––with more than 35 million views.

  • Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband Steve and their children Ellen and Charlie.

  • Her latest book which we're going to talk about today, Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough

  • Conversations, Whole Hearts, is available now.

  • Brené, it is so great to have you on the Marie Forleo Podcast.

  • You're one of my favorite humans in the whole world.

  • I texted you this, but I need to say it right now: Dare to Lead, another one that you knocked

  • out of the park.

  • My book is filled with underlines and highlights and dog-eared pages and all of the good things,

  • but I need to ask you.

  • You're so prolific.

  • I am curious.

  • Why this topic and why right now?

  • First, I just...

  • Anywhere, anytime, doing anything, I'm yours.

  • I'm in.

  • Thank you for having me back.

  • Let me tell you.

  • The last time we did something together, you have amazing...

  • You have an amazing crew.

  • Not only the people who work with you, but your community is incredible.

  • So thank you for inviting me in again.

  • Anytime.

  • So why this book?

  • Oh, my god.

  • It's a really good question.

  • A couple years ago, we got super clear.

  • Like the name of our company is Brené Brown Education Research Group.

  • So we have this mission of making the world a greater place by sharing our research and

  • our work in a really accessible, relevant way with impact, looking for impact and scale.

  • I realized and I had already been studying leadership, but I didn't think I would do

  • a leadership book per se.

  • I thought I would just weave it in like I kind of did with Daring Greatly and Rising

  • Strong and weave it into other books.

  • I had this huge epiphany actually in New York.

  • I was working with an organization that has 25,000 employees and was really just struggling.

  • The leadership was not showing.

  • They weren't showing up like they wanted to show up.

  • People were just really in a dark place.

  • I thought "You know what?

  • You can't change the world.

  • You can't make the world a greater place if you don't change how we work because, as adults,

  • we spend more than half of our lives at work."

  • I think everyone listening will attest to the fact that if work is toxic, if work is

  • shaming, if work makes you question your value, everything in your life just goes to shit.

  • Yes.

  • That gets an amen on a Wednesday or Thursday from me.

  • Yeah.

  • So I just thought "You know what?

  • I'm going to do this."

  • I think it's a book for everyone.

  • We define...

  • I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes

  • and has the courage to develop that potential.

  • So this is not a book for people in the C-Suite or people with corner offices and big titles.

  • This is a book for every one of us that wants to show up, contribute, and lean into our

  • purpose.

  • So in the book, you talk a lot about armored leadership versus daring leadership.

  • Let's talk about what is underneath these different approaches.

  • I just want to underscore what you just said about this is for everyone because I feel

  • like, especially in my community for the folks listening right now from what I've read in

  • emails and just keeping in touch with our folks, one of the things that can plague us

  • is not thinking that our voice matters, not thinking that we have anything important to

  • say or that, as you said, if we're not in that corner office, we're not at that C-Suite

  • level, that we're not a leader.

  • But I do think, as you well know, now more than ever we need brave people to stand up

  • in every corner of every organization, of their families, of their friend groups, everything.

  • Let's think about this from that perspective.

  • Armored leadership versus daring leadership, what's that about?

  • So here's what was really...

  • I have to be honest with you.

  • This was the most...

  • This kind of blew my hypothesis out of the water.

  • I went in thinking that the biggest barrier to daring leadership is fear.

  • We're afraid.

  • There's a lot of new research in here including interviews with 150 leaders and a three-year

  • process of building and instrument to measure your daring leadership capacity.

  • I started looking at the data, and I was like "Oh, my god.

  • I don't think fear...

  • I don't think the greatest barrier to daring leadership is fear.

  • I'm wrong."

  • So I went back and started interviewing some of the bravest people I know, I mean bravest

  • leaders I know again from social justice movements to oil and gas companies, and they're like

  • "Fear?

  • No, I'm afraid all the time."

  • I was like "What do you mean?"

  • They're like "No, I'm afraid everyday."

  • I was like "It's not fear."

  • Then as we started digging, what we realized is the greatest barrier is not our fear.

  • It's our armor, how we show up when we're in fear.

  • Some of us, in fear, recognize the fear.

  • We're very aware of what kind of armor we depend on, how we self-protect, but most of

  • us, myself included, still to this day when we feel vulnerable or uncertain or at risk

  • or criticized, we armor up.

  • That armor, those different behaviors we use to self-protect, they corrode trust, they

  • move us into fear, they keep us away from courageous decision-making, and they really

  • are toxic to whatever our mission and purpose is.

  • So what it really came down to, the heart of the book, is the difference between.

  • If everyone's afraid, daring leadership is having the skills to lean into the fear and

  • figure out what the hell's going on and stay brave.

  • Armored leadership is those terrible behaviors that we lean into to protect.

  • What do some of those look like for you?

  • So I know for me, even mostly in a personal realm, right?

  • Yeah.

  • For me to armor up, I know it's like I shut down.

  • In the book, you were writing...

  • I actually have some friends that I joke with about this.

  • It's almost like I do turn into a Transformer.

  • All of the metal, right?

  • Everything just comes up and it's like boom.

  • It all gets sucked inside and it's like you cannot penetrate.

  • My vision, my heart, everything closes down.

  • I'm curious what are some of the ways that it shows up for you.

  • Well 16 of them emerged from the research.

  • It was 16 different types of armor.

  • Our armories are very full, and 16 kind of daring leadership approaches to counter that

  • armor.

  • But I think some of the big ones that we face: driving perfectionism and fostering fear of

  • failure.

  • Yes.

  • Perfectionism is armor.

  • I mean perfectionism is the 20-ton shield.

  • Yes.

  • It's really...

  • All perfectionism...

  • I mean it's not striving for excellence or healthy striving.

  • That's completely different.

  • That's completely internally motivated.

  • Yes.

  • Perfectionism is "Oh, god.

  • What will people think?"

  • Yes.

  • So the daring leadership response to perfectionism is modeling and encouraging healthy striving,

  • empathy, and self-compassion.

  • So if you've got a team and I'm thinking about all the people I know who follow you in a

  • cult-like but great way and most of them are young entrepreneurs, they are people...

  • I mean they lean into your work so heavily as they're trying to build their own businesses.

  • Yes.

  • I can tell you...

  • And most of them are women.

  • Not all, but most.

  • I can tell you, from interviewing a lot of young entrepreneurs for this work, how many

  • times...

  • I mean I get teary-eyed every time I think about it.

  • I sat across from someone who sunk all their savings or borrowed money from their family

  • and really started this thing that they believed in and let their perfectionism completely

  • corrode it.

  • Yes.

  • Yes.

  • It breaks my heart.

  • I try to share as often as possible, Brené, A) how long it's taken me to get where I am

  • and how long––seven years––I had all these different side jobs because I didn't

  • know what I was doing.

  • And I still am the farthest thing from perfect.

  • We make mistakes all the time.

  • I love that we're talking about this.

  • I really, really do.

  • I think it's especially important in the time that we're in right now where Instagram is

  • obviously most of our favorite social media platforms and it's the place where everything

  • can look the shiniest and the prettiest and the most perfect which that's a whole other

  • conversation.

  • But I was having a talk with a girlfriend the other day and I said "Hey.

  • How are you?"

  • Because she's been experiencing a really tough, difficult time.

  • I said "I've been watching you on Instagram and I've been wanting to give you your space."

  • We were laughing because she's like "Instagram's mostly a lie."

  • Yeah.

  • I howled out loud, but to your point about daring leadership and perfectionism and that's

  • one of the ways that we armor up, I just really want to appreciate you for calling all of

  • this out because it's so, so important.

  • Another thing I highlighted in the book which I love this phrase, "Embrace the suck."[a]

  • I really want to drive home this point that courage and fear are not mutually exclusive.

  • We do not have to stop feeling afraid to do brave, courageous things.

  • Thank you.

  • Y'all, I mean people make up...

  • I could just spend the rest of my life reading a book of stories people make up about me

  • and what my life is like.

  • I'll be honest with you.

  • I texted my chief of staff like five minutes ago––who is my sister––and was like

  • "Oh, my god.

  • Is this shit with Marie audio or video?"

  • She goes "Audio.

  • I've already told you I'll give you a head up if it's video."

  • Right now, I'm sitting here.

  • My hair is wet and I've got like masks under my eye bags because I'm just getting over

  • being sick.

  • I threw my tennis shoes on.

  • I just came downstairs.

  • I've got one Adidas tennis shoe on and one Converse tennis shoe on.

  • I didn't realize I grabbed two different tennis shoes.

  • Yes.

  • Okay.

  • You want to trade stories?

  • Yeah.

  • So I came into my studio.

  • Right now, same thing.

  • It's like a little bit.

  • Today's one of those hot fall days in New York City.

  • Yeah.

  • My uniform when I'm not doing my show which I like to say "It's the Marie Forleo...

  • It's MarieTV.

  • It's a show."

  • But I run into people all the time on the street with no makeup.

  • My uniform is a really comfy v-neck tee-shirt and some form of jeans and flip flops.

  • That is my happy place.

  • So I come into my studio about to record this, right?

  • So I have a thing where if I have a lot of visual clutter around, I find it hard to concentrate.

  • That's just one of the things that helps me just stay focused.

  • So I think it was like a week or two ago.

  • We were here in the studio filming some stuff, and I just had a moment where there were so

  • many...

  • You know when you just look around, you're like "How did all this clutter get here?"

  • Like it just accumulates.

  • So my team helped me clear things out because they know how important it is to me, and I'm

  • getting ready for this podcast and guess what, Brené?

  • My podcast mike that we're on right now, the little plug, the USB that helps it plug in

  • is not fucking there.

  • So it's literally...

  • So I'm like "Oh, shit.

  • I got to talk to Brené in like 10 minutes."

  • So here's where grace comes in.

  • I knew I chose this particular location where I'm in in New York City for a reason.

  • First of all, it's around the corner from my favorite karaoke place ever, and it happens