Must Read Book of 2019
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
I first stumbled upon Brené Brown's work when someone recommended I read Daring Greatly during my time at Ohio State. I read that book and instantly connected with the message. Once I heard she was releasing a new book, I was giddy with excitement. I can’t speak for other healthcare fields, but I can say it seems everyone in pharmacy is talking about how there is a shortage of leaders. Don’t get this confused with a shortage of pharmacists- there's actually a surplus making the job market a very competitive place, but there is a shortage of leadership in pharmacy. So I thought to myself: this book could not be more perfect for me.
I bought Dare to Lead within the first week it came out, and also downloaded the audio version on the Audible application, so I could listen to it first, and read it to reinforce what Brené was explaining. To make this book even more useful, she uploaded a free workbook to go along with the book, so anyone can evaluate and practice the leadership tools she provides to her readers.
The quote on the right is a definition of a leader from this book. I absolutely love this definition of a leader from her book because I think people easily dismiss themselves as leader when they don’t have an official leadership title or certain job title. It serves as a reminder that no title is needed to develop potential in yourself, in others, in processes like studying, how you communicate with others, etc. There is room for improvement and growth everywhere. Learning how to recognize for signs of improvement can be more difficult for some, but I encourage you to start with one thing you'd like to improve in your own life and go from there. Something as simple as serving others via community service, taking time to genuinely listen to people, and being kind to people make you a leader.
One of the tools in this book is, “Clear is kind; unclear is unkind.” I remind myself of this every time I have a conflict with a friend, am trying to plan a dinner with multiple people, etc. Being clear about my intentions, my ideal scenario for plans, my feelings towards an idea may at first come across as rude or conflict-inducing but in the long run it is actually kind and helpful.
For example, imagine I’m trying to coordinate a dinner party. My best friend suggests a restaurant that I know doesn’t have a lot of gluten free options, but I don’t speak up about the lack of options or not preferring to go there. Instead I’m unclear and say, “I guess that place will do if it’s what everyone else wants.” We go to the restaurant and as we’re discussing what everyone will get I look upset and mumble, “Well there aren’t a lot of options for me here. I guess I’ll get this salad and hope it doesn’t have gluten in it.” Then, my friends all feel horrible because they forgot about my gluten allergy, and that I have limited options that aren’t that appealing compared to the dishes they’ve chosen to get. By the end of the night, we all feel disappointed and upset for various reasons. Now, if I had originally said, “I looked up their menu online and don’t see a lot of options for me. Would y’all be okay exploring other options? If not, I can go and get a salad, but I was really in the mood for something else.” By being clear, I could have avoided the surprise to my friends of the menu being restrictive to my allergy, making them feel bad for not remembering to accommodate my allergy, and ended up eating a meal I would enjoy. This is why clear is kind.
I could talk about this all day so to save everyone time, I’m just going to conclude with: please go buy and read this book.
Link to the book: https://brenebrown.com/books-audio/
Link to the free workbook: https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/workbook-art-pics-glossary/
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have!!