#GLS15 Session 5: Brene Brown

This year, GLS is showing short video testimonies from around the world on the power of leadership.  These 5 minute stories are becoming some of my favorite moments of the Summit.  They just showed a Ugandan pastor who led the nation’s president in a public repentance for their blood soaked history and to begin a healing process for their country.  Moving and powerful story, as was the NatureSweet story before it.  

Bill is using the Uganda video to challenge people to donate so more leaders in the developing world can attend a GLS. He’s a very good fundraiser.  Clear, bold, compelling, but not manipulative.  I’m also impressed that he is announcing that the offering will be tomorrow, not right away. 

And now, Brene Brown!!! 

Rising Strong

  • ‘We can’t let the kids run wild around technology and bed time, they’ll be feral by the time we get home.’ LOL 
  • ‘We’re both ex competitive swimmers.  Steve still swims….I am a shame researcher.’
  • ‘Let me ask you this? How many men in here know how this story ends?’  This woman is a first class storyteller.  Hilarious and profound story about her marriage and emotional connection.  
  • ‘And then, the 24-48 hour Cold War will begin.’
  • What is the emotion we feel, when we make a bid for connection, but that bid is not received.  It is shame.

  • Here we are in this perfect shame storm.  Two people who love each other.  #1 shame trigger for women: body image.  #1 for a man: weakness.
  • The number one perpetrator of shame for men is women.
  • How many of you have ever shared something vulnerable and it is used back at you?
  • The story in my head and the story in your head puts our marriage in trouble.  But we are all we have and we have to speak into each other’s story.  We have to hold each other’s shame gently.
  • The only path to more love, more joy is more vulnerability.
  • Our brain is hard wired, in the moment something painful happens, to make up a story about what is happening.  So we interpret the event with a story that may not be true.  If we can give our brain a story, it gives us a chemical reward.  And the brain does not care if the story is accurate.
  • How many of you as a leader have had a conflict, and as soon as the conflict is over, you have made up an entire story to interpret it?  OUCH!
  • The middle space: you start something and you’re too far in to turn around, but you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Who you are in the middle space is what separates leaders from non leaders.  That is where leadership is born, that is where courage is forged.
  • How many of you are good at payback? How many of you are good at self righteousness?
  • After a fall: the reckoning, the rumble, the revolution.  Reckon with your reaction.  Get curious about what you’re feeling.  Something has me hooked in a loop and I need to get curious about it.
  • Powerful leaders are ok with discomfort,  they have absolute emotional awareness about themselves and the people around them,
  • Emotion dictates behavior.  We are emotional creatures who sometimes think, not the other way around.
  • I’ve never met a problem that wasn’t helped by the question, ‘help me understand…’
  • Rumble:  get comfortable with your emotion and figuring out what is going on, the shame storm etc.  must rumble with what is true and hard.  Discomfort.  You can choose courage or comfort, but you don’t get both.
  • ‘oh yeah….its weird….in our culture, we clap for the truth.’
  • Revolution: make this a practice at home, at work.
  • Question at the start of every meeting, ‘what do you need to rumble today?’
  • Our worthiness as people live inside the story we tell ourselves, but when we rumble it, we get to the truth, not the story we tell ourselves.
  • How much courage does it take to follow up with someone and say, ‘the story I’m telling myself about our encounter is this….’
  • When we run from struggle, we a never free.
  • If you are brave enough often enough, you are going to fail.  Learning how to get back up is vulnerable and is where truth is found.

Brene Brown is one of the most powerful communicators I’ve ever heard.  She is able to craft a story while being utterly raw and using her insight and experience to benefit the audience.  Her expertise and insight are other worldly.  Listening to her was a deeply engaging and exhilarating experience.  


I missed session 6 and session 7.  If I get notes from our team, I’ll post them later today. 

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