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Brené Brown        

Professor at the University of Houston; #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author; Best Known for "Daring Greatly"

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Brown is the author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers and hosts two award-winning podcasts, "Unlocking Us" and "Dare to Lead."

Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and her titles include "Atlas of the Heart," "Dare to Lead," "Braving the Wilderness," "Rising Strong," "Daring Greatly," and "The Gifts of Imperfection." With Tarana Burke, she co-edited the bestselling anthology "You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience."

Brown's TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability is one of the world's top five most-viewed TED talks, with over 60 million views. She is the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix, and she launched a new show on HBO Max that focuses on her latest book, "Atlas of the Heart."

Brené spends most of her time working in organizations worldwide, helping develop braver leaders and more courageous cultures.

Speech Topics

Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

True belonging is the practice of belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are. This type of courage and strength can only be forged in the wilderness – through the lived experiences of collective joy and pain, curiosity and questioning, investing in connection, and grounded confidence.

In this keynote we will explore:

  • The factors leading to a culture of fitting in versus true belonging, cynicism versus engagement, and disconnection versus connection.
  • The power behind the four practices of true belonging (collective joy and pain; debunking, de-bunkering, and decency; investing in community; and grounded confidence).
  • Six qualities of leaders who cultivate cultures of true belonging and commitment versus leaders who build cultures of fitting in and compliance.

Rising Strong

If we’re brave enough often enough we will fall. Rising strong after a setback, disappointment, or failure is how we cultivate wholeheartedness in our lives; it’s the process that teaches us the most about who we are. In this keynote we will:

  • Explore the critical role emotion plays in resetting after a fall and the connections between emotion, thought and behavior.
  • Define integrity and explore how offloading emotion moves us away from our values and corrodes culture.
  • Examine the power of storytelling and the dangers of confabulations and conspiracies.
  • Explore the three elements of the rising strong process (The Reckoning, The Rumble, and The Revolution).
  • Develop actionable strategies for getting back after a fall or setback so that we can live, love, and lead with greater courage.

Dare to Lead

Leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same question:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

Based on twenty years of research, including the past seven studying leadership, Brené found the answer: Daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart.

In this keynote, Brené uses research, stories, and examples to explore:

  • The ten cultural barriers to courageous leadership
  • The four skill sets that underpin courage
  • Rumbling with Vulnerability
  • Living into Our Values
  • Braving Trust
  • Learning to Rise

The difference between armored leadership and daring leadership Why curiosity and grounded confidence are at the heart of brave work and tough conversations.

Brené writes, “The skill sets that make up courage are not new; they’ve been aspirational leadership skills for as long as there have been lead­ers. Yet we haven’t made great progress in developing these skills in leaders, because we don’t dig into the humanity of this work—it’s too messy. It’s much easier to talk about what we want and need than it is to talk about the fears, feelings, and scarcity that get in the way of achieving all of it. Basically, and perhaps ironically, we don’t have the courage for real talk about courage. But it’s time. And if you want to call these “soft skills” after you’ve tried putting them into practice—go for it. I dare you.”


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