Entreprising Notes pages are for my thoughts as I progress through a book… You can check out the Review page here, which is about grading the book as fairly as possible.

Please note that book links to Amazon pages in this post are affiliate links. I am a proud Amazon Affiliate, and if you’d like to support my work, buying a book through my affiliate link is a win-win, and I truly appreciate it.

December 1, 2019

Chapter 7: Wholehearted Parenting – Daring To Be The Adults We Want Our Children To Be

I was surprised when I heard Brené Brown say “Final thoughts,” on my walk this evening.

Taken aback, because I thought I was a little more than half way through the book; not at the end.

This is one of the hazards of reading a book via Audible and Kindle. You don’t have that solid grasp of how many pages are left…

Unfortunately, Chapter 7 was only a little better than Chapter 6.

And at least part of my surprise that I finished the book on my last walk was due to the set up in Chapter 5.

I went back and read the promises, and I realize that she touched on everything. But I don’t think the topics got the attention they deserved.

So, I’m a bit bummed.

I do know she’s written another book, Dare To Lead…

Is it too much to hope it’s the ending of Daring Greatly? lol

One strong point of Chapter 7 is her statement of a hypothesis she doesn’t have data to back up. She acknowledged it, and made a point of making the reader aware she was venturing into an area without research to back up her claim.

She had observations and well-grounded intuition on the matter, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch; but I appreciate the above-board approach.

Anyway, here are my notes for Chapter 7.

Daring Greatly Chapter 7 Quotation

The important thing to know about worthiness is that it doesn’t have prerequisites.

Brené Brown – Daring Greatly, Chapter 7 Page 220

This is so critical to understand, and of course it’s not the first time I’ve contemplated this message.

But it’s so darn easy to forget.

I think it makes perfect sense that Brown writes this in the context of the chapter specifically about parenting.

If there’s any chance that we, collectively, can make it easier to remember this or to live this as a fundamental premise moving forward in our lives, it is by instilling it in our children.

As Brown notes, this is no and easy task, and no one is perfect in its pursuit.

Associations

The associations in this chapter for me were purely personal.

I almost didn’t grade this chapter as it’s not really business related; except that most people in business have children. So many of us are peers in parenting.

My 10 year old is in the 5th grade now, and struggling with some of the same things as Brown’s daughter, Ellen, in the stories she decided to share. I know that despair of wanting to help my child… feeling desperate to make everything okay, but also knowing I don’t want to overstep.

I don’t want to debilitate her.

Brown does a good job of talking us through her approach. It’s human, it’s real, it’s raw, and it’s good.

Takeaway

My takeaway from this chapter was reading one of the Ellen stories to my daughter, Illy.

When I told her I wanted to do so, Illy asked “how long is it, Mom?” And scoffed as she saw me rapidly click through pages until I found the right spot.

But when I finished the Ellen story, she immediately asked me for more.

It definitely resonated with her.

Chapter 6: Disruptive Engagement – Daring To Rehumanize Education And Work

In Chapter 6 there was a noticeable shift in the quality of the organization and presentation of Brené Brown’s thoughts.

To this point in the book, I would actually say her organization and presentation have been some of her strongest points in getting her message across.

She addressed that she had originally thought to separate out the discussion of leadership for companies/organizations, versus that for leaders of schools/education. Instead, she opted to combine the discussions into one chapter.

I’m not sure if that’s the problem here, or if it was something else. Either way, it detracted from the message and it’s the lowest scoring chapter in the book thus far.

You can see the section reviews per chapter by The Rubric on the Daring Greatly Review page here.

Hoping she turns it around in Chapter 7!

Daring Greatly Chapter 6 Quotation

We can’t control the behavior of individuals; however, we can cultivate organizational cultures where behaviors are not tolerated and people are held accountable for protecting what matters most: human beings.

Brené Brown – Daring Greatly, Chapter 6 Page 196

I feel this to my core as a parent, manager…person.

I’ve often contemplated how it seems the world is full of people who want to dominate and control other people; for whatever reasons.

And I often find myself wanting to do the same, if only to protect myself against… I suppose vulnerability.

This quotation to me raises the biggest question coming out of this book: How do we cultivate organizational cultures where (certain) behaviors are not tolerated and people are held accountable for protecting human beings?

Overall, I believe Brown is doing a great job of answering this question.

Associations

I didn’t start with the intention of exploring communication as a theme for the last three books I’ve read, starting with Crucial Conversations, then Radical Candor, and now Daring Greatly.

But now that it’s clear there is a theme, I feel like I’ve been examining different layers of the same onion…

Another layer of that same onion might be Nonviolent Communication, which I read a couple years ago for the first time, and have re-listened twice since. (Nonviolent Communication was a takeaway from reading Tribe of Mentors…)

Anyway, back to the associations thread around communication…

If I had to order the books from deepest to most superficial in their treatments (and let’s face it, I’m giving myself this assignment, so I’m gonna…), it would go like this:

  1. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
  2. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
  3. Crucial Conversations by the team of Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler
  4. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Nonviolent Communication says if we want to have deeper connections and communication with other people, we have to learn to stop attacking them by accident…

We attack them by accident when we allow our shallow understanding of, and vocabulary around, our own emotions and needs filter what we want to say into judgments about them.

Pretending that Brené Brown had Marshall Rosenberg in mind, I would say Daring Greatly postulates at the root of our shallow grasp of our emotional selves is our fear of shame and therefore vulnerability… That we don’t explore further because it’s so scary.

Again, pretending Crucial Conversations was written with Rosenberg’s and Brown’s work in mind, I would say its message is about creating safety in our conversations, that would in turn permit vulnerability and exploration of our emotions and needs to expand our vocabulary.

Radical Candor, if it had been written with the other three in mind, would then quote Nike’s “just do it,” when it comes to the other three, as applied in the workplace.

Takeaway

My takeaway from Chapter 6 is pretty convenient, as it’s the first mention of an external resource in Daring Greatly.

Actually, Chapter 6 had gave us two resources that are also on her website, https://brenebrown.com.

The first, the one I find useful, is her Engaged Feedback Checklist.

Almost any time that I’ve needed to have a “crucial conversation” with someone, and knew that “radical candor” was the only way I could help them become better, this checklist would have been helpful in gathering my thoughts and helping to assuage my fears.

I think I’d probably have cut down the procrastination and stress around each conversation quite a bit if I’d had this tool.

Okay! That’s it for Chapter 6. Onto 7!

Chapter 5: Mind The Gap – Cultivating Change And Closing The Disengagement

Chapter 5 of Daring Greatly is a utility chapter. It is setting up the rest of the chapters in sections, and making the promises those chapters are going to fulfill.

By the looks of it, we’re in for a treat.

Daring Greatly Chapter 5 Quotation

Spiritual Connection and engagement is not built on compliance, it’s the product of love, belonging, and vulnerability.

Brené Brown – Daring Greatly, Chapter 5 Page 177

I love this. It’s so easy to get caught up in the frustration of other people not meeting our expectations, but neglect our own shortcomings against those same expectations.

It’s easy to think that this is deliberate; to blame other people when they’re doing it.

And in some cases, I think there’s a hubris exhibited by those who make the rules but don’t believe or accept that those rules apply to them.

But often times this is not something done intentionally; we’re susceptible to letting ourselves off the hook too easily in some fundamental areas.

Even as we’re too hard on ourselves when it’s time to get vulnerable…

Brown is doing a fabulous job of gently calling into question our own behaviors within the context of the behaviors we see from other people all around us.

Associations

This chapter is definitely relevant to my experiences; I was reminded of my own disengagement when I sense hypocrisy or a disconnect between values preached versus values lived, in any context.

It reminds me of a concept in psychology of which I’ve become aware even as I don’t understand it well enough to explain articulately; attribution error.

At any rate, I don’t think anyone has to reach too far to find their experiences are represented in this chapter.

Takeaway

My takeaway from this chapter is the list of 10 questions on page 174-175.

These questions, used to help understand a culture (regardless of which type of culture), are excellent.

I plan to ask these questions about the cultures in which I participate… To see what comes up. Maybe I’ll write something up on it.

November 30, 2019

Chapter 4: The Vulnerability Armory

This was another solid chapter for argumentation. Brene Brown is articulate, and makes it easy to tease out her premises and conclusions.

So far there’s only been one point in the book where she’s asked me to take a leap to reach her conclusion, by alluding to the data without actually incorporating the data into her writing.

I appreciate not being asked to take leaps of faith over and over and over again only to be disappointed, as I am in so many other books.

This chapter, however, was not the most engaging or interesting for me. I kept finding my mind wandering. Perhaps because of the discomfort the topic brings?

I’m not sure.

But the previous chapters have been engaging, and this one didn’t bother me, per se, but it didn’t resonate with me quite as strongly.

I’m hoping Chapter 5 will bring with it the same excitement as Chapters 1-3.

This is one of the problems with grading a book chapter by chapter; sometimes the chapters have to do the nitty-gritty work for the book, and in and of themselves they’re not pretty – but they set up the rest of the chapters to work.

That might be the case for Chapter 4 of Daring Greatly; we’ll see.

It wasn’t that the stories she was sharing weren’t working for me; they were – and Brown is deftly telling those stories, believe me.

It was just something about discussing the way we arm ourselves against perceived vulnerability that didn’t carry my attention as well as other chapters.

That, and I didn’t find the useful tidbits in this chapter quite as useful as the chapter before it. They were there; but not as readily available to me as those previously mentioned.

What I’m most hoping for continuing this read is a better treatment of the question: “How do I recognize my vulnerability in the moment, so that I can respond in a healthier and more productive way?”

Thus far, after reading several books that touch on vulnerability in a row, I’m having trouble recalling the specific recommendations for recognizing those moments in real time, and handling the fight or flight response that accompanies them.

Each of the books have touched on the difficulty of this predicament, and perhaps I’m just forgetting the specifics they recommended…

But mostly I think the sentiment has been, “I know it’s really hard, but you’ve gotta fight your way through your reflexes to find a better response.”

And then they move right into how to respond once you’ve realized you’re in that scary moment and a different response is needed.

It’s just not scratching my I-want-a-game-plan itch…

I think the most pragmatic treatment thus far has been Todd Brown’s book, The Alter Ego Effect. Still, utilizing an alternate persona, as he recommends, requires that “phone booth moment,” he talks about in the first chapter.

Also known as the moment you know you need to pull out that alter ego in the first place…

And, as pragmatic as an alter ego might be, Todd Herman even acknowledges that employing one isn’t going to do the self work needed to address the underlying behavior that is your typical response.

Here’s hoping Brene’s got something in store for me on this conundrum.

November 29, 2019

Chapter 3: Understanding And Combating Shame (AKA, Gremlin Ninja Warrior Training)

Wow. Daring Greatly is so good!

I finally got to go on my walk after the rain let up today, and I enjoyed every minute of this chapter.

Entreprising’s delayed start from February 2016 to nearly four years later in November 2019 can be explained in the first few chapters of this paragraph.

Shame.

And vulnerability.

There is a warmth to Brown’s writing that I can’t quite articulate. And I just adore that she recorded the Audible version of the book herself. She’s coming through these pages with such … vulnerability and authenticity.

It’s really quite beautiful.

And she’s nailing it technically, too. I think this might be the highest graded chapter on The Rubric thus far.

I found applications for this chapter in every aspect of my life. With my partner, my child, my family, my friends, and my work.

The argumentation has only increased in strength with this chapter, and she’s weaving in the research so deftly that it’s hardly noticeable in the reading.

I definitely want to discuss this book with someone; I think I’ll have to give Jenne a call. She mentioned Brene Brown to me years ago; and now I know why…

Back for more tomorrow.

November 28, 2019 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Chapter 1: Scarcity – Looking Inside Our Culture of “Never Enough.”

Chapter 2: Debunking The Vulnerability Myths

First, I want to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving 2019. I’m so grateful to have returned to Entreprising after two years to take back up the cause.

This project is so dear to me.

I’m also grateful the rain decided to wait until after my morning walk, so I got a couple chapters in!

Daring Greatly is starting out really strong by The Rubric.

It has all the strength of argumentation you’d hope to see from an academic, but also all the charm of bringing the data to life in story and explanation.

It’s funny, the more you grade things on a rubric, the more the different aspects jump out at you.

For instance, having read The Alter Ego Effect, Crucial Conversations, and Radical Candor back-to-back-to-back, all three books scored really well in the reading level, writing, and errors sections. I think pretty much a perfect score for all three books…

But there’s something that’s more than just “easy to read and understand” good about Brene’s writing. There’s a bit of artistry here that the other three books lacked.

I’ll revisit The Rubric to account for that at some point.

In the meantime, I’m really enjoying getting to know Brene Brown better through these pages. Through her writing, she’s not only tackling the topic of vulnerability in theory, but also demonstrating it for the reader.

Thus far, the way Brene talks about vulnerability reminds me of what Kim Scott was attempting to add in the way of humanity to her Radical Candor framework. But coming from Brene, it’s even more human and raw. This might be accounted for by the nature of the book; Daring Greatly was not written in the business genre.

And that’s also not to take away from Kim Scott what I wrote in the notes for Radical Candor; Scott doesn’t hold anything back when talking about her own struggles to learn how to be the kickass boss she became at Google and then Apple.

And so, in her own way, Scott was also demonstrating the kind of vulnerability Brown is examining in Daring Greatly.

On the technical side of things, Brown is executing this book really well. So well, I missed the transition from Introduction to Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 and was surprised all of the sudden to hear “Chapter 3,” on Audible this morning…

Chapter 1 was a foundations chapter as you might expect; definitions, laying the groundwork for the investigation that at the root of the issues we face in being vulnerable is the lie of scarcity.

Chapter 2 was a distinction/nuance chapter, as she explored the common myths we share as a society about vulnerability – what it is, what it means, and how it feels.

They’re calling for rain again tomorrow, but I’m hoping for another surprise reprieve so I can dive into Chapter 3.

Updates forthcoming … after a turkey nap.

November 27, 2019

I just finished the book, Radical Candor, by Kim Scott today, and I’m excited to dive into Daring Greatly on my next walk.

Check back here for my notes!

Given the holiday and the rain in the forecast, I might not post back here until November 30…

Happy Thanksgiving friends!