Those who know me, know I am always on the hunt for a good book. Recently, I had a chance to read a particularly great book: Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead.

    Brown defines a leader as “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” Her research on leadership has taken place in a variety of settings including the military and corporations of all sizes and types.

    The research led her and her team to identify four critical skill sets that are important for each of us as we consider how we become better leaders within our own organizations, within our families, and within our communities.

    1. You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability.

    How good are we at having real, honest conversations?  Can we discuss issues that are messy and uncomfortable while maintaining a willingness to listen, be open to problem solving and letting go of our own egos in an effort to truly move forward? Until we begin to make improvements in this area we can never graduate to work on the other three.

    2. Living into our values.

    Did you know only 10% of organizations actually have operationalized their values statements into clear, actionable behaviors and have trained to those behaviors and hold people accountable to them in daily practice? Can we in particular as nonprofit leaders, commit to actually holding ourselves and our teams to not just talking, but actually walking the talk?

    3. Braving Trust

    Fortune magazine research shows that “trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces.” And, this is not just the kind of trust we teach on team-building retreats; it is clearly defining expected behaviors and holding others and ourselves to them. Let’s take the time to talk about this within our teams and be specific in our definitions of areas for improvement.

    4. Learning to Rise

    Can we get better? The answer is a resounding YES! We must take time to “define success” for ourselves, and within our teams. It’s not about protecting our selves from failure, but instead about learning and improving with each step – and fall – along the way.

    We all want a world where leaders show up with honesty, vulnerability and courage. Let’s recommit to BE that leader!

    Posted by Jan Brogdon on Nov. 7, 2019
    Jan Brogdon

    Written by Jan Brogdon

    Jan Brogdon, CFRE, is an experienced member of the Donor By Design Team focused on working with a diverse group of nonprofit leaders who are looking to connect their work in commmunities with donors who are seeking to make a difference. With more than 30 years of professional experience, Jan has a strong track record in linking program and membership support activities with annual giving fundraising programs.

    Our Latest Posts