Brene Brown has had a meteoric rise since her TED talk on vulnerability. She is a rare mix between researcher and practitioner. She is quite human and incredibly accomplished. She is unzipping the hearts of people of all shapes, flavors, and styles. Her core message of vulnerability as a superpower, not liability is freeing and relieving. And we need more of it.

Braving the Wilderness is particularly helpful for leaders. Everyone faces conflict, rejection, pain and disorientation. Unfortunately, these are particularly abundant for leaders. We coach leaders who have exited the smooth marked paths for the unknown perils of the wilderness. This book names the things lurking around us and gives us the courage to realize these are normal. Yes, if you’re leading you signed up for the wilderness.

Here are some killer quotes.

“Rather than coming together and sharing our experiences through song and story, we’re screaming at one another from further and further away… the choices we’re making to protect our beliefs and ourselves are leaving us disconnected, afraid, and lonely.”

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” Quoting James A. Baldwin

“Being ourselves means sometimes having to find the courage to stand alone, totally alone.”

“I don’t think there’s anything lonelier than being with people and feeling alone.”

“If leaders really want people to show up, speak out, take chances, and innovate, we have to create cultures where people feel safe.”

“People are wonderful. And they can be hard.”