We proudly introduce ALiEM’s newest series, The Leader’s Library, with Dr. Brené Brown’s newest book, Dare to Lead!
Have you ever gotten to work with someone who just “got it?” Someone who inspires greatness in all people with whom s/he worked, seemingly effortlessly, all the while maintaining humility and approachability? What about the converse– have you ever worked with someone who just seems out of touch with the rest of the team, failing to unite the group under a common goal, leaving the team members feeling unheard and voiceless? Unfortunately, we’ve all probably worked more with folks from the latter category than the former, and this can lead us to believe that good leadership is a mysterious, innate quality that some people are lucky enough to have, while the rest of us are stuck bumbling through our days, just trying to avoid catastrophic mistakes.
Strong leadership is something achievable for all of us, according to author, research professor, and social worker Dr. Brené Brown. That is, if we have the courage to embrace vulnerability and discomfort in ourselves and the people we lead, to have the tough conversations we all avoid, and to treat others as the human beings they are. She 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”… OK, that could definitely be anyone. What about “vulnerability?” This she defines as “the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Well, emergency providers sure face much uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It makes sense to learn how to harness and corral those emotions into something productive for the team.
In her newest book, Dare to Lead, Dr. Brown advocates for creating a more courageous workplace by focusing on 4 domains:
Rumbling with Vulnerability
Living into Our Values
Learning to Rise
Rumbling with Vulnerability is the longest section and is based on the core concepts of:
“Courage is contagious”
“Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.”
Relevance to Healthcare Leaders
We’re so uncomfortable with conflict, difficult conversations, and dissent that we hide in the shadows, hoping we can avoid offering our honest thoughts and opinions; however, over time, this erodes the foundation of our organizations, creating an aimless team without clear direction, leaving members feeling isolated and devalued. By being courageous and vulnerable enough to offer explicit expectations and feedback, as well as elicit others’ perspectives and appraisals of the current situation, we can cultivate an environment of collaboration and exceeded expectations.
Sound too good to be true? Does this intrigue you? Hoping to gain some concrete skills to improve your leadership, mentorship, sponsorship, and all-around Being a Good Person? We will be going over each of these 4 core domains on creating a more courageous workplace.
Please join us for the inaugural session of The Leader’s Library, ALiEM’s new professional development series. We welcome not just physicians, but the whole spectrum of the health professions in emergency medicine, including trainees, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, and advanced practice providers. A team of world class educators from around the globe (see list below) will be facilitating an online, Slack-based group discussion of Dr. Brown’s newest book, Dare to Lead. After the week-long discussion, the Slack account will be retired and a de-identified summary will be posted on the ALiEM site.
ALiEM Series Editor, The Leader's Library Assistant Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital; Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics University of California San Francisco