Book Review

The One Book That Actually Changed My Entire Life

September 8, 2022

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Sometimes things come into our lives at the MOST impeccable time that they can only be divine. I have been committed to doing this book review, one book a month, for the entire year. The book that I read for the month of March, Dare To Lead by Brené Brown has absolutely changed my life! In the few short hours of reading and listening time, I have managed to be completely turned upside down, inside out, and every other way that you can possibly think someone’s emotions and thoughts, ideas, and dreams, and visions and realities can be possibly turned.
I feel like I have been put inside of a washing machine and then a dryer, and came out smelling like beautiful lemongrass essential oils, ready to be hung out and put in a closet. For use on a day when the air is crisp and clean, for a long brisk walk in the most beautiful springtime air. THIS BOOK has put me through the most unbelievable transformation process and I hope that I can present this review to you in a way that inspires and motivates you to pick up your own copy of AND download. Yes, do both, I did both and am so glad I did.
This book is all about becoming a better leader. Although, she does talk about leadership in corporate settings, I have taken every single morsel she has poured into this book and have used it to visualize the kind of leader that I need to be as a mom, as a wife, and as a person trying to develop a community HERE on the podcast and blog and within my own business. So, if you are like me and you care about growing and care about becoming a better version of yourself, and you care about the type of leadership that you carry with you and around you – then you absolutely must keep reading to hear this month’s book review on Dare To Lead.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

The Book That Changed My Life

In a very short amount of time this book has changed my life. It is because of this book that I am going to change my own commitment to 12 books in a year. While I may still get there, this book has impacted me so deeply and so greatly, that I want to stop reading more books, in order to make THIS BOOK a part of who I am. To allow me to implement what it is that I learned in THIS BOOK to become a better leader. I want to understand how to be a daring leader. I want to understand every single thing the author talks about pertaining to courage, and rumbling with vulnerability. The concept of vulnerability in regards to REALLY getting in there and doing it!

The Power of Empathy

Another big component of this book that really impacted me deeply, the power of empathy and what empathy really is and how it applies to us as moms, as wives, and as business owners. Or people who are working in an environment where it’s not our business, rather you work for someone else. What I want to tell you is that one of the books I have mentioned before on the Podcast in regards to a very specific system, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz and when I read that book, I also paused on ALL other reading and dove completely in for several months of that system and got it completely integrated into my business finances.
This is also what helped me conceptualize and put into action, the budget that Blaine and I had been trying to create for years and years. The concept of that book helped me implement so many things life-changing for myself, that we also have been able to put that inside of The Systemize Your Life Academy. If you need a budget, want something that works, want to get out of debt, stop credit card cycling please come into The Systemize Your Life Academy and get our budget. Anyways, my plan is to temporarily put pause on my current one book a month reviews, in order to fully sit with all that I learned through Dare To Lead so that I can become a better leader and apply this to all corners of my life.

How I Found This Book

I picked up this book awhile back, before 2020, and I remember reading it out by the pool and for some reason I put it down and stopped reading it. When March 2022 came, I decided that this was the book that I was going to read for the month. I purchased it in Audible and I have the actual paperback book. The second that I started reading and listening to this book it hit me completely in the face. I had NO IDEA that one part of me that I had been struggling with deep down inside, that I had been holding on to and causing me strife, that she had brought forward and provided me answers to. Right then and there I knew in an instant that this was the book that I was supposed to be reading and listening to.
What was that one thing that she brought forward and spoke to my soul? She was talking about what it takes for her to be a mom, and be an introvert, and travel, and be outside of the home and have this full-fledged business. I could relate to her so much because this is a place that I have been sitting in too and struggling with for awhile. I loved being able to hear what it is that she does to be able to get through some of the hard parts and still put her gifts out into the world. Instead of playing safe, instead of staying at home under the comfortable wing and security of her husband and her home, and pouring into her children and NOT letting her gifting outside of that flourish.

All In With Dare to Lead

Now, I am only a few pages left to go and I am fully committed to this process. I am ALL IN. I have downloaded the workbook, I have spent time on her website looking through all of the other resources she has. This book is the epitome of the kind of women, the kind of mom, the kind of business owner, the kind of wife, the kind of community member that I want to be. There are SO many skill sets inside this book that I don’t have, that I want to have, that I want to understand how to use my language to craft an environment for other people to feel seen, to feel understood, to feel safe. I want to use my own vulnerability instead of protecting myself, to make other people learn and grow into what they want to be. And this book is going to get me there!

What You Need To Know About Dare to Lead

So while there will not be another book review for a couple of months, hopefully you can stay focused with me in Dare To Lead. So what about this book do I feel like YOU need to know as a wife, as a mother, as a business owner, as a keeper of the house. As someone who is really trying to GROW and to EXCEED. This is what you need to know. Brené Brown has interview data that she has been collecting for the past twenty years and it is ALL within this book. She collects data and it is specific to how people interact with each other – feelings, emotions, communication – ALL OF IT. In addition, within this book she also has 150 interviews with global, high-level corporate, leaders on the future of leadership. Not just what has been, but what they foresee in the future! Also, program evaluation research from Her Brave Leaders Incorporated, regarding courage building work. Also, in this book is data collected from a three year instrument study on Daring leadership. So she is really looking at what it takes to be at this next caliber leadership. We are looking at what does it take to stand out above the rest and do something absolutely tremendous with yourself as a vessel when other people interact with you.
I cannot wait to go to my co-working space and write down ALL the things on the whiteboard and dissect my habits, my tendencies, my fears, my typical triggers, my responses, what is my armor, break it down, what do I need to do and to start practicing. I am so LIT up about this book and HERE IS WHY!

“You have to have the COURAGE to get in the ring and do the dance, to do the fight, to roll up your sleeves and to DIVE IN.”

The Heart of Daring Leadership

At the heart of daring leadership, she says a few things. First, you can’t get to courage without rumbling vulnerability. Embrace the suck. I stand by this 100%. She talks about how a rumble is a discussion, conversation, or meeting, interaction, defined by commitment to LEAN in to vulnerability, to stay curious and generous, to stick with the messy middle of the problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary.
To be fearless in owning your part. It is so important that you include YOURSELF in all these pieces that you are going through in your life that are HARD. You have to have the COURAGE to get in the ring and do the dance, to do the fight, to roll up your sleeves and to DIVE IN.

The Heart of a Mother

When I was in the middle of reading this book, I found myself on a 35 minute errand run around town. I was in the car, completely alone and listening to the audio version. I was giddy excited to be all alone, in my car, getting my errands done, all while listening to my book. And on that drive, listening to her book, I found myself sobbing. I thought what is going on? This is what I have learned the most. She tells a story about empathy, the skill sets, the definition, but she opens up with this story about her daughter desiring to be a part of this sports team and it was senior night. And the author was out of town speaking. She was at the airport texting her daughter because she had a Plan A and a Plan B, both of which would get her home to her daughter’s senior night. She was at the airport, waiting to board, with the plane being delayed for a few minutes already. The flight was cancelled and she was going to miss her daughter’s game. And this is what had me sobbing completely in my car.
The heart of what it feels like to be a mom that throws herself into the trenches of growing herself outside of motherhood. She talked about the entire situation and how so many people responded with EMPATHY. She describes empathy as the linchpin of cultures built on connection and trust. And it also is an essential ingredient for teams that take risk and shows up for rumbles.

The Elements of Empathy

There are 5 elements to empathy and they are explored in great depths. And every single thing she focuses on is based on research. And these are things that are skills that can be improved and can be worked on. This allows you to be able to grow and identify where you are lacking when it comes to empathy.

Empathy Skill #1-To See the World as Others See it

Skill #1 To see the world as others see it, or perspective taking, meaning it is so important to not just see things from your own perspective. It can be so hard sometimes to stop and look at what the other person is thinking. It is so important to take a moment and stop to see how other people see the world. We are not always right. We have to honor that our right is often times just as right as someone else. When you can truly show up to the conversation with your husband or your friend and know that his experience through that situation is just as right as your experience through that situation. This is a game-changer. I see this as something that will help me tremendously, and I cannot wait to dive into it!

Empathy Skill #2- To Be Non-Judgmental

Empathy skill set number two – to not be judgmental. This one was very triggering for me and very hard. It says that we judge in areas where we are most susceptible to shame. She spends a lot of time in the beginning of the book talking about shame, and it is deep and very much worth your time to read and listen to. She goes on to say that if you find yourself incredibly judgmental about appearance and you cannot figure out why that’s a clue that it is a heart issue for YOU! This is such a beautiful concept and something that is hard to stop and put a mirror in front of!

Empathy Skill #3 – To Understand Another Person’s Feelings

Empathy skill set number three – to understand another person’s feelings, which she couples with empathy skill set number four – to communicate your understanding of that person’s feelings. This screams marriage a thousand times over again. Also children too, but I understand this so much better in regards to marriage. To understand another person’s feelings. And then to be able to communicate that understanding to another person.

Empathy Skill #4- To Communicate Your Understanding of That Person’s Feelings

I love what she says here about emotional literacy. Emotional literacy in the author’s opinion is as critical as having language. When you can’t name and articulate what is happening to us emotionally, then you cannot move through it. And it is so so important.

Six Known Barriers to Empathy

There are six things that are truly getting in YOUR WAY from allowing you to practice empathy with the people you lead, whether that is in your home or your business. Where the practice can go sideways, or you can experience an empathetic miss. The book dives into six known barriers to empathy and I am going to share the very first one and save the rest for you to read when you check out Dare To Lead.
  1. Sympathy v. Empathy – she gives an awesome visualization of a person down in a well yelling up to the top about being scared and overwhelmed – the person with empathy looks down, reaches out and says I know what it feels like and you are not alone, whereas sympathy looks like seeing the situation and saying “oh that’s bad, I am sorry” and then moving on. The two most powerful words when someone is in a struggle are “ME TOO” I see your struggle and you are not alone! The difference between sympathy v. empathy is feeling WITH, instead of feeling FOR. How amazing would it be if we could feel WITH our husbands, and our children, and our team members instead of feeling FOR them. What a great goal to work towards.

The Challenge to Empathy

Empathy is a hard skill to learn because it requires practice and you will mess it up more than once, but you have to work on it to get good at it. One final thought I want to share is “Who we are is how we lead.” When I think of the kind of leadership I provide within my home and my business, it all comes down to who I am. Who I am to my husband, to my children, to my team, to my community, is about who I am on the inside. Her main focus on how to do this within this book talks about self-awareness and self-love and how much they matter. But specifically, how to grow into a better leader based on curiosity and grounded confidence.
She has an equation that looks like rumble skills + curiosity + practice = grounded confidence. One of the ways that you can get better at rumbling skills is learning. To practice. Easy learning doesn’t build strong skills. I see this over and over again inside the Academy. Those that want an easy fix, they give up. But those who really want to learn go through and embrace the suck. They dive in and do the work.

The Reality of it All

The reality is that to be effective, the learning needs to be effort-ful. And you bet you need to put in the effort to succeed in home and in business. There is no way around it. The difficulty has to be desirable. A difficulty that you desire. The rest of the book goes on into simple, yet challenging practices on how to be a better leader. She talks about values, and has an incredible workbook that goes with the book. That might be where you are at. Or maybe you are at a place where you cannot even think this far forward because you are sitting in a mess. You don’t even know how to show up to a time block, but you are dying to start a blog, or a little brick. & mortar, or to grow your network marketing business. Whatever it is and wherever you are – the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that you know what that next step is FOR YOU.

The Next Step

Do you need to go pick up this book, Dare To Lead? Is it time to fill out the time-blocking workbook from our website? Or how about the Fundamental Needs workbook? All of these things are GREAT next steps for you! And I want you to have that support. Come on over to our Facebook group so we can support you! And if you have already read this book and you know how incredible it is please, come join us and let’s have a conversation about it! I am so glad you took the time to experience this with me and I look forward to coming back here in the months to come to continue to provide updates on what this book has done for me and more!
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started with the next step to be a better wife, mother, and business leader?

Besides picking up a copy of Dare to Lead my Time Blocking Workbook, and Fundamental Needs Workbook will give you a great foundation. The Systemize Your Academy is there for you if you are ready to dive in and invest in yourself with all the systems to give you more time for your family and to grow your business!

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