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Develop These Essential Leadership Skills No Matter Where You Lead

I want to share with you about assessment that I think is really valuable when you look at evaluating your personality, your strengths, who you are, like just the inner characteristics and parts of your identity that it can be identified and not for the sake of a label for identification unto leveraging this information.

Brene Brown is one of my favorite researchers in the emotional and personal growth space. And I love what she shares about vulnerability and shame and so many different things. And I've read a lot of her books. I have listened to a lot of her TED talks. You can glean so much all of her books and her talks and all of the things she puts out there.

As I say with every person or resource that I recommend: learn how to spit out the bones for yourself. I'm not making guarantees that you're going to love every book she's written or anything. I always say: sometimes a book is like a nice piece of Chilean sea bass at an expensive restaurant, when you can eat the whole thing without any problems and it's really delicious.

But sometimes the book is like a cut of salmon from the grocery store, and you find three or four or 10 bones while you're eating. And sometimes you start reading, and you find out the book contains a whole skeleton of a fish that's more fitting for Garfield. With all of these assessments, the links, and the people I talk about here and on the podcast, I just always say that you should expect a bone here or there that you don't agree with.

You're going to find bones in my content because you and I are never going to see 100 percent the same, eye to eye, all of the time, simply because we're not going to. That's just not human life, right? But it doesn't mean we can't glean from each other.

Brene Brown has a few books such as Braving the Wilderness, Rising Strong, Dare to Lead, and some others, but the Dare to Lead book has a workbook and also a free assessment that comes alongside it.

I want to share this with you because as a leader in multiple spaces in my life and over the past 20 years, I really appreciate some of the things that she goes into when it comes to being a leader, whether you are a leader at work or at church, at school, even being a leader at home with the people who live in your home. Everybody is a leader in some area of their life. Most leadership assessments come at leadership and growth from a far different perspective than what Brene Brown and the Daring Leadership Assessment do.

This assessment evaluates strengths and opportunities, which every good assessment does, but she comes at it with what she calls the four courage-building skill sets. I don't know about you, but I think we can all use some courage-building skills. And this assessment is a short one, like it's less than five minutes, I think. And it's geared towards the workplace in its language, but I believe it fully applies to inside your home like I said, or at church, wherever you're connecting with people.

I'm actually going just to read my results so you can get an idea of what each of the courage-building skills are. And then if you want, you can go get the book, Dare to Lead, get the workbook. You can go through the free assessment for yourself for the greatest impact to you.

And you can use that free assessment for any client work that you have. If you're a coach, you would be able to just point them in this direction and use some of this if they're looking at how they can grow in these four courage-building skill sets, even if they're not looking at it from a leadership standpoint.

My results say I have both strengths and opportunities for growth in all four areas, which is not surprising. I would be shocked if it were to tell me I'm scoring eight and above out of 10 in any one of these areas. As if to say, 'wow, you're just really strong at these and you just got this girl'.


Rumbling with vulnerability is the first skill that comes up and that's why I like it. It's just not your average leadership assessment because she studies these other things that are deeper within us that impact our leadership in any area of life.

Vulnerability is one of them because it's not a thing that gets studied. It's not a thing that gets taught. I want to help you understand vulnerability in your own life. And then, if you're a coach, I want you to be able to understand vulnerability for your client's impact and the results they're getting. So rumbling with vulnerability is about "staying brave, curious, and learning", right?

Which to me sounds like I'm a coaching client! Brave, curious, and growing, right? So vulnerability is "the emotion we experience when there's uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It's having the courage to fully show up, engage and be seen, even though you can't control the outcome".

Now, I'm not reading this verbatim, but this is basically everything that my results actually show. And so this is the same information you can find if you take the free assessment. The willingness and ability to rumble with vulnerability. It makes me think of like Jacob wrestling with the angel.

It's the foundational skill of courage-building because without this core skill, it says that "the other three skill sets are really impossible to operate in. Our ability to be daring leaders will never be greater than our capacity for vulnerability". And honestly, after two decades in ministry and nonprofit work and leadership, I completely agree.

If there's no vulnerability, then I think great leadership is not possible. And most of us aren't taught about vulnerability or told that that's, it's courageous to be vulnerable. So the first thing we have to do is deal with the lie and the limiting belief that vulnerability is not a good characteristic.

And the lie that we could just ignore vulnerability. The lie that we can, as the results say, I like the way it says this: "engineer the uncertainty and discomfort out of vulnerability", or the lie that vulnerability is a weakness rather than a strength.

And the second step is developing the skills and confidence to "stay in vulnerability when it feels overwhelming", because many of us try to avoid vulnerable situations.

"We armor up for them, or we completely tap out when it gets too uncomfortable or awkward". So building grounded confidence means developing all of the skills and practices. Again, you can go read Dare to Lead, and all of this is really covered, and they dive deep into it there.


The second courage-building a skill is living into your values, which is definitely something I believe in. In coaching, we talk with clients about core values, but living in your values means you have to get clear on what you really value and the behaviors that support those values.

"A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important". So living into your values requires a clear understanding of core values, having a strong sense of the behaviors that are in alignment with those values, which is something that is really part of the PEARL practice.

I need to understand that if my values are part of the legacy I want to create, then I need to know what kind of results culminate in that legacy. And I need to know what actions and behaviors I need to bring to the table on a daily basis to get those results to create that legacy. And I need to ecognize when my behavior is out of alignment with that, and course correcting as needed.

So there are phases of that. First, you have to know your core values, then you have to understand what kind of behaviors need to be in your life to be in alignment with those values, meaning you need to be able to be a good self-observer, a watcher of yourself and see when your actions are out of alignment with getting the results of those core values and then learning how you individually can correct your course and change your actions and your behavior.

It says "when we are vulnerable we will face self-doubt, hurtful comments, and fear. Our clarity of values is essential support during these difficult times. And if we don't have values to remind us why we are being courageous then the cynics and the critics will bring us to our knees".

So living into our values means "we do more than profess them. We practice them. We walk our talk. We're clear about what we believe and hold important. We take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs".

Sounds like a lot of the PEARL practice to me!


The next one is braving trust So, in addition to the Daring Leadership Assessment, she's got what is called The Braving Inventory download. You can go there and download this inventory, but basically, trust is built in little ways over time, and it's built between a couple of people or in a team based on the seven specific areas in The Braving Inventory, which is based on the acronym BRAVING, which stands for Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-judgment, and Generosity.

So I'm going to go through each one of those. And first let's understand that as a whole we struggle with trust. And when we struggle with trust and don't have the tools or skills to talk about it (because who teaches you the skills to deal with having to say, "I don't trust you?") "we end up talking about people instead of to the people".

And we can think about like, what does the Bible tell us about that? Go to the one that you have an issue with. Don't go to somebody else. There's a whole process the Bible lays out.

Secondly, "trust is the glue that holds teams and organizations together. So when we ignore trust issues at the expense of our own performance, we affect the team", we affect the organization, we affect our family, we affect our household, we affect our neighborhood, we affect our church, you know, and so on and so forth.

Let's talk about the acronym BRAVING.

  • B is for boundaries, making clear what's okay, what's not okay, and why. We didn't do premarital counseling. We should have. Everybody should, I think, and then just stick with it and keep doing 'current marital counseling' forever. I think when you get married, you don't know what your boundaries are a lot of times, especially if you get married when you're younger.

If you're not clear what your boundaries are, it's really important to decide what they are, and then make clear what is okay inside of this boundary, what needs to stay outside of the boundary, and have a solid reason why for it all.

  • R is reliability. It means "you do what you say you'll do."

I'm going to point out that I think this doesn't just include doing what you're going to say you'll do for others, but doing what you'll say you'll do for yourself. Having integrity and making a commitment to yourself and following through. So in a team, at work, at home, it means "staying aware of what you're capable of, what you're limited at, so you don't over promise, and you're always able to deliver on whatever you've committed to and balance competing priorities".

And again, I think this totally applies in a household and a family.

  • A is accountability. So you "own your mistakes, you apologize, and you make amends".

And just on the point of apologizing, in a different post we're going to talk about the 5 love languages assessment which has a corresponding assessment for your apology language.

  • V is for vault. It means "you don't share information or experiences or say things that are not yours to share." So everybody needs to know that if they share something in confidence with you, you will keep it, and you're not going to share with them information about other people that should be confidential, and I think that's really, really important, especially in a team, a family, and a marriage.

  • I is integrity, "choosing courage over comfort, choosing what's right over what's fun, fast, or easy, and practicing your values, not just professing them."

  • N is Non judgment, which means "I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need, and we can talk about how we feel without judgment." That's it.

This creates a space where you can be honest. All of these things apply to who you should be as a coach.

  • G is generosity, "extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others. Assume the best, positive intent."

And you can see that this right here is one of the reasons I really love this, because if you've been around me at all, you understand I have a severe interest in the difference between interpretation and intention and believing the best about people and trying to shift my paradigm on a consistent basis to believing the best instead of operating from the worst interpretation. Becuase it's really easy for our souls to want to go with the thing that makes us feel good and justified about being angry or saying what we said or whatever it is. And when we can shift our paradigm to believing, "okay, what if they didn't mean it that way?" we can get different fruit for our lives.


And then the last of the four courage-building skills is called learning to rise. This is "learning how to reset after you've been disappointed or you failed, or you had a setback."

Work environments are generally changing quickly in the kind of culture that we live in today with technology and whether you're going to work from home or not, whether you have a job or not, but households and families are also rapidly changing environments. And this means we will be disappointed and set back and fail, requiring us to learn how to rise.

We have to learn how to get up from the fall and overcome mistakes and face setbacks in a way that allow more learning and strength. So, when we have the courage to walk into the hard experience of failure and disappointment and own those stories, we get to write the ending.

And you know how I feel about being a StoryMaker. She goes on to say, "Our research shows that leaders who are trained in rising skills as part of a courage building program are more likely to engage in curate courageous behaviors because they know how to get back up after taking risks and being brave."

So the learning to rise process involves learning from setbacks and disappointments and applying learning to future goals and learning from situations you failed at. And that's when we talk about confidence being just the willingness to show up and try and fail and try again.

"The Learning to Rise process involves learning from setbacks and disappointments and applying key learnings to future situations. Finding the key learnings depends on recognizing and getting curious about emotion and comparing the story in our heads with the facts."


So good. I'm just going to recap the four courage-building skills:

Rumbling with vulnerability. Stay brave. Stay curious. Keep learning.

Live into your values. Get clear on what your values are, get a sense of what you need to do and how you need to act to be in alignment with them, learn to see when you're out of alignment with those, and learn how to course correct.

Braving trust. BRAVING stands for boundaries, reliability, accountability, vault, integrity, non- judgment, generosity.

Learning to rise. After you have fallen, get back up.

All right. I love this. I think I can think of a thousand different ways that this can be implemented and useful in coaching and in your own personal self-coaching.

So check the show notes, go to the links, take this assessment, and see how this can shift for you. How can you learn to rise and to rumble and to lean in and to bravely trust. How can you grow in these areas?

Because whatever you're walking in, you're setting an example to all of the people around you that you're leading, even the ones you don't know you're leading. They're watching and hearing and they are following what you're doing. So they're learning from you. And you may not know because you may not intentionally be leading people, but that's exactly what we're doing all the time.

People are watching us, they're being influenced by who we are and the examples that we set. So decide what you want your legacy to be, the kind of results that you need to get to have that legacy. And then decide how you need to act and feel and think to walk out those results. So that you create a legacy, so you can impact the world around you in whatever way you are uniquely created by God and called to do.

Take the free Daring Leadership Assessment HERE.


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