Dare to Lead by Brené Brown [Infographic + Summary]

Social Psychology / Monday, May 6th, 2019

By reading this summary of Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, you will discover how to lead.

About the Author (Brené Brown):

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. She holds a PhD from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston.

She is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers, namely :

About the Book (Dare to Lead):

The book was originally published on October 9, 2018, with the content of 320 pages. This is a book for everyone who is ready to get out of their comfort zone and face the challenges to make a difference. It will also help those who want to learn how to be a leader.

Furthermore, it holds a rating score of 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon with 305 readers review as on April 28, 2019. And it is classified as a Social psychology book.

Key Quote from the Book:

“At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized.”

Brené Brown

What to Expect from the Book:

  • What is leadership all about?
  • How to live bravely, mindfully and dare to lead?
  • How to step up, put yourself out there and be courageous?
  • How to cultivate more daring and braver leaders?
  • How to become a Leader

Dare to Lead Infographic:

Infographic of Dare to Lead by Brené Brown book summary. The description follows in the blog post.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, PhD

Dare to lead summary:

Rumbling with Vulnerability

Dr. Brown’s Dare to Lead is a collection of four skill sets, and the foundation skill to build courage is ‘rumbling with vulnerability’.

You can’t get to courage without being vulnerable. Instead of recognizing it as a weakness, you must embrace vulnerability. In fact, the toughest leaders in the world have eventually admitted that the acts of courage are always accompanied by the feeling of vulnerability.

Vulnerability means insecurity and insecurity means risk, and those who take risks win. Therefore, courage can’t come without being paired with vulnerability.

Moreover, vulnerability is the universal emotion which we feel when times are risky and uncertain or we are at the mercy of other people’s actions. Consequently, you can’t think of a time when you needed courage without being vulnerable.

It is not something only about winning or losing but about stepping up when the outcome is not certain. To put it differently, embracing vulnerability doesn’t mean to be vulnerable; rather, it means to become a courageous adventurer and someone who’s ready to face the possibilities of tomorrow.

Furthermore, the author tells that trust and vulnerability are two different sides of the same coin. We need to trust to be vulnerable and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust. And as you know, building trust is a fundamental part to become a leader.


One emotion we all tend to avoid is shame. It is an awful feeling that makes us feel unworthy and flawed. A staggering 85% of all interviewees in Brown’s interviews recalled a childhood incident so shaming that it completely transformed the way they think about themselves.


Empathy is the opposite experience of shame. Being empathetic means putting yourself in the shoes of others and see the world from their perspective. And it is something we can get better at, with practice.

Importance of Values

It is extremely important to have values in order to deal with the difficult times. It can be honesty, kindness, self-discipline, and respect. People who know their values in and out have an easier time learning how to become a
leader .

Moreover, living into values means to be very specific to your intentions, words, and behaviors with everyone. The best way to learn such values in life is to start with the two most important traits for both work and home. And that could be anything like accountability, patience, diversity, or truth, etc.

Giving and receiving genuine feedback can be the hardest thing to stay aligned with our values in life. It requires active listening and asking questions and further acknowledging their strength and weaknesses.

Another important thing the author talks about is operationalized values as they drive productive decision making in an organization. They key to operationalize core values is to be crystal clear on the skills that build up those values within you.

How to lead and build Trust

Building a culture of trust is essential to hold teams and organizations together. It is the single most important thing which is a must-have and can transform the productivity of an organization to the next level.

Furthermore, the author describes seven important traits that makeup trust.


There cannot be any trust between a leader and employees without proper respect for each other’s boundaries.


It is necessary for an organization’s leader to be realistic in terms of goals and milestones so that employees can follow him faithfully.


There is no harm in making mistakes as long as you admit them and try your best not to repeat them.


It is an extended form of knowing your limits. You put all those things in the vault that you are not supposed to share with people.


People respect integrity because being consistent with the set standards is difficult.


No matter how badly you have performed, you tell your followers about it because you know they will not judge you.


Finally, a leader has to be generous towards the words and actions of his followers in order to create a maximum positive impact.

Learn to Rise

The best way to achieve success is to rise again after failing. Failure is inevitable, thus, learning to rise is must in order to be a great leader. Resilience is the best guarantee to make failure works for you.

The author shows that leaders trained in resilience are more likely to embrace courageous behaviors as they are well versed with the methods to get up after a fall.


In a nutshell, it is not a complicated business book, unlike those psychology books that contain difficult concepts to understand. Overall, the stories and writing styles are very smooth to read. In addition, as the author is mostly working with business leaders, it can be said that the tactics and ideas in this book are specifically packaged for a business context only. If you are ready to be challenged and grow as a leader, pick up your copy of Dare to Lead now!

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