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Becoming a Braver Leader
October 28, 2019
The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.
-Kahlil Gibran
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“We need braver leaders and more courageous cultures,” writes Brené Brown in her book, Dare to Lead. When leaders were asked what got in their way of creating courageous cultures, they identified ten “most common” reasons. One of those reasons is that “perfectionism and fear are keeping people from learning and growing.”

In the book, Art of Leadership: Leading Early Childhood Organizations, Nancy Rosenow writes about addressing this kind of fear by first overcoming our own need for perfectionism and developing a heart-centered approach to leadership: “Becoming a heart-centered leader is an inside job, and it’s not for the faint-of-heart. It’s a process of getting to know and accept ourselves so well that nothing outside of us feels threatening anymore…The children’s classic book, The Velveteen Rabbit (Williams, 1958) contains a famous paragraph that describes the process perfectly:

You become. It takes a long time…Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand…

It’s only when I can move into a place of acceptance and love for all my ‘shabby’ places that I can be open to real relationships. Because we all have places inside ourselves we judge as not-good-enough. Much of the hurt in our world comes from trying to hide those places from each other. More connection and meaning and joy is possible as soon as we embrace our ‘shabbiness’ as an acceptable part of ourselves.”





The Art of Leadership
Leading
Early Childhood Organizations

All Art of Leadership books
are only $19 for a limited time!

Leadership matters in early childhood. Leading Early Childhood Organizations provides you with practical advice from top experts on leadership in the early childhood arena. Content focuses on the skills required to lead an organization, supervise staff, and manage the organization.

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