Dr. Brené Brown on How Leaders Rise Strong

I’m live blogging from Catalyst Conference. Catalyst is a next-generation conference that  embolden leaders from all over the world. The theme of Catalyst for 2015 is “Awaken the Wonder.” Wonder invites potential. Wonder provides vision. Wonder inspires. Wonder leads us to God.  Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston College of Social Work. She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is the author of two #1 NYT Best-sellers: Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection

If we are brave enough, we are going to fall. We don’t have enough conversations about what it means get back up. I work 90% of my time working with leaders and share the nature of falling and the response is always this: “I get it and I’m willing to risk falling.”

If you wake up to commit of doing right over fun, you are going to fall and it’s going to hurt. We have many ways of managing shame. Some move towards people pleasing. Others move against shame by expressing shame.

When something hard happens to us emotion gets the crack of making sense of what happens. We want to believe we are thinking beings but we are not thinking beings. We are emotional beings. We are believing beings.

When something hard happens the brain is hard wired for only one thing: survival. The brain scrambles to understand what is happening. “Who’s good? Who’s bad? What’s safe? What’s unsafe?” The brain has zero tolerance for ambiguity. If you give a brain a story, you are chemically rewarded. The brain simply needs or story whether it is accurate or not.

What do men and women have in common for those who rises strong in difficult circumstances?

1. First they recognize they are triggered by emotions. Great leaders have a very capacity for discomfort – tough choices.

2. Full understanding of your emotional landscape and emotional landscapes of those you lead. Two common denominators for leaders who rise strong: Mindfulness and breathing. Mindfulness is simply about paying attention. Prayer is absolutely key! We are much better than inflicting pain, than feeling pain. It is a worthy prayer to ask to understand your current emotions. We have to rumble with the story we are making up. The very first story we tell ourselves. SFD = Shitty First Draft. What we don’t need in the midst of struggle of shame about being human. You have to capture the SFD. When you own your story, you get to write the ending. When you deny a story, the second you deny it, it owns you. You’ll never be free from your story. The most important sentence that changed my life is, “The story I’m telling myself right now…” How many of you would have more respect for people who initiates such a conversation.