Brene` came and left but wow did she have an impact…..

Guest Post By Alana Bennett

I’ve waited a couple of days to write about my experience of seeing Brene` Brown as I wanted my thoughts and ideas to percolate before sharing them. And in all honesty, after having seen my #girlcrush live I needed a couple of days to calm down!!

I have been a huge fan of Brene`s for a long time, I have read her books, watched her TEDx talks and literally anything else on YouTube with Brene` in it! And still I walked away with so much. And the greatest thing I walked away with is this, the time is now!

Every single person that walked out of those exhibition centers walked away with GOLD, PURE BRENE` GOLD!! The gold will have different meanings and relevance for each of us but here’s some of mine:

1.    Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind
This one hit me deep in my core and I know it’s because it’s so aligned to my values. One of my values is integrity, so this means choosing courage over comfort, it means choosing what is right over what is fun and it’s wholeheartedly choosing to practice my values rather than simply professing them. And I think in businesses if we start having honest, truthful, tough conversations, if we start trusting each other, the businesses we all work in and the people, our friends, that make up those businesses would thrive.

2.    We must teach reset #pumpthebrakes
We have to consciously fuel ourselves. Are we sleeping enough? Eating well? Physically moving our bodies? Are we doing things that feed our souls? None of this needs to be in excess (hahaha sleep in…. what’s that crazy talk #mumofsmallboys). But humor aside, this becomes the difference between average and high performance. Our ability to reset and recharge is what allows us to come back for more.

3.    The shitty first draft (SFD)
Now we all do this, we all have stories we tell ourselves. Some of those are healthy and some are downright BS!!! In the absence of data, we will always make up stories. We do it a hundred times a day and our organisations are literally overflowing with these stories. Brene` says that the first story we make up is full of our fears and insecurities. The scary part here is that if we don’t know the whole picture we make shit up. Now in organisations where there is lots of change and confusion, teams and people go crazy with SFDs. And this is where point 1 above comes into play. If we operate in a culture of courage, where we give people as many facts as we can. Acknowledge when we can’t tell them everything and that we’re telling them what we can but importantly keeping them in the loop. To be clear is to be kind. And clarity absolutely reduces story making!

4.    Boundaries. What’s ok and what’s not ok
I truly LOVE this. In an environment where a lot of people feel the pressure to be “on” all the time, learning the art of setting boundaries is what allows us to reset. Now I don’t just mean personal boundaries but professional. Setting expectations around performance, values and behaviours. Clear is kind.

5.    Embrace the suck
Brene` is so great at how she explains this, she has a beautiful style at how she brings her craft to life. We all grew up with parents or grandparents saying, “nothing great in life is easy” and this is kind of like that. Being a daring leader means that most days you will probably feel uncomfortable. You may feel brave and afraid at the exact same time, maybe all day. And this is ok. This is when you need to step into the arena and use the language, skills and tools that Brene` shares so freely and openly to rumble.

We can all be daring leaders, it’s within all of us. The one thing that allows this to be possible is willingness. No one else but you can decide to engage in this, and as Brene` says even if you choose not to engage, you still decided.

To quote Brene`:

‘As you think about your own path to daring leadership, remember Joseph Campbell’s wisdom: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Own the fear, find the cave, and write a new ending for yourself, for the people you’re meant to serve and support, and for your culture. Choose courage over comfort. Choose whole hearts over armor. And choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid. At the exact same time.’

– Brene` Brown, Dare to Lead.

This time is now to be a daring leader.


Alana Bennett is the Head of Employee Experience at oOh!Media, one of Australia’s leading Out of Home advertising companies. Since 2015 she has been responsible for identifying, attracting, supporting and connecting the right talent to meet the growing talent needs of oOh!. Prior to oOh! Alana has worked across both generalist and specialist areas of HR within the financial services industry.

Alana has a fierce passion for the employee experience believing that if you create the right environment your employees will thrive. She speaks regularly on how to create and nurture an amazing employee experience. An advocate for wellbeing, she believes that how you fuel your body is directly linked to performance and advocates for both employees and leaders to put their own oxygen masks on first so they can lead their teams to truly thrive.


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