One of the highlights of last week’s Global Leadership Summit was hearing Brené Brown speak. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and a TED Talk sensation since her 2010 talk went viral (more than 8 million views). That talk is embedded at the bottom of the page. Her research has focused on the interplay between vulnerability and empathy, encouraging people to experience “whole-hearted” living.
Here are three lessons I learned from Brené Brown:
- When you judge yourself for requesting help, you invariably judge others when they ask.How many of you feel shame when you ask for help? Just yesterday I tried to figure out to run a report on a database at work. I had a call scheduled with my boss and part of our agenda was to create and discuss this report. I wanted to know how to do it before I got on the call–to save time. I’ll be honest, I tried for about 15 minutes and never did figure it out.
Once on the phone I admitted that I hadn’t been able to figure out how to run the report. As I did, I noticed within myself a twinge of shame. Not much, just a little shame. After all, I use a computer all day long. I blog, use social media, etc. I should–I reasoned–have been able to figure this out.
- We lose people in the gap between profession and practice.Professing love (in all its forms) is fairly easy. What is not easy, not simply, what is incontrovertibly complex is practicing love.
How many of us make vows at our wedding–a profession–only to find it require intention, effort, humility, and sacrifice to remain true to the words that so easily dripped from our lips?
How many of us take vows when we join our church and in fairly short order recoil from a significant decision made and once more experience the difficulty of keeping vows?
When the gap between what we say and what we do becomes too immense, we loose people. Marriages collapse. Church fellowships rupture. Friendships end.
- Courage and comfort are mutually exclusive.By its very definition courage requires that we confront something that is difficult or that causes us to experience fear. When comfort becomes our objective in life, we cannot be courageous for we will always turn away from anything that causes us to be uncomfortable–it could be making a phone call, following a dream, initiating a difficult conversation, restoring a broken relationship. Interestingly, we may claim that we’re not satisfied with our life, but as long as comfort is our chief value our life will never change and we’ll settle into a begrudging comfort.
I’ll be reflecting on these lessons for a while. What stands out to you from Brené’s talk?