Daring Greatly — How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead — Brené Brown

Hannes Kleist
4 min readNov 16, 2021


Buch-Review — Hannes Kleist — 29.11.2019

Brenè is a shame researcher and is surprisingly scientific about topics like fear, shame, vulnerability. She encourages us to put down our armor, be true and live a wholehearted life.


Every week I read a book about business, psychology or mindfulness and share my highlights and comments in an article.

This week I read a recommendation from Alexander Petrowski (my coach).

Brenè Brown — TED Talk

Brenè is a shame researcher and is surprisingly scientific about topics like fear, shame, vulnerability. She encourages us to put down our armor, be true and live a wholehearted life.

I totally agree with her analysis. The “how-to” is a bit too vague for me, unfortunately. -Introduction: My Adventures in the Arena

The most significant problems that everyone from C-level executives to the frontline folks talk to me about stem from disengagement, the lack of feedback, the fear of staying relevant amid rapid change, and the need for clarity of purpose.

Alright, we are on a good track. -Daring Greatly

When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary.

Yeah. Thanks, Facebook and Instagram for making everyone an uber-narcissist.

Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement. Trust isn’t a grand gesture — it’s a growing marble collection.

Oh, I like that.

Yes. Shame resilience is key to embracing our vulnerability.

I totally get that. I know how to instill that in my team and my kids. But how do I do that for myself?

In shame-prone cultures, where parents, leaders, and administrators consciously or unconsciously encourage people to connect their self-worth to what they produce, I see disengagement, blame, gossip, stagnation, favoritism, and a total dearth of creativity and innovation.

I love that. For creativity to come forward, people need to feel safe to fail.

This notion that the leader needs to be “in charge” and to “know all the answers” is both dated and destructive.

That was me until a year ago.

Perfectionism is other-focused: What will they think?

She distinguishes between “Perfectionism” (“Is this good enough for others?”) and excellence (“Is this good enough for me?”)

Fun fact: Really hard stuff when you do creative work for clients.

The anxiety described by the research participants appeared to be fueled by uncertainty, overwhelming and competing demands on our time, and (one of the big surprises) social discomfort.

Oh, yeah. This is me.

I wasn’t raised with the skills and emotional practice needed to “lean into discomfort,” so over time I basically became a take-the-edge-off-aholic.

Finally, I have a name for it.

I am weekday-sober for 4 months now, btw. -How-to fix it

  • Learning how to actually feel their feelings.
  • Staying mindful about numbing behaviors (they struggled too).
  • Learning how to lean into the discomfort of hard emotions.

Alright. Let’s try that.

I have a tendency to want to serpentine when I feel vulnerable. If I have to make a difficult call, I’ll try to script both sides of it, I’ll convince myself that I should wait, I’ll draft an e-mail while telling myself that it’s better in writing, and I’ll think of a million other things to do. I’ll emotionally run back and forth until I’m exhausted.

My favorite sport.

Talking about social media commentators:

“Don’t try to win over the haters; you’re not the jackass whisperer.”


We’re going to be called upon to show up as leaders and parents and educators in new and uncomfortable ways.

Yeah. Leading means feeling uncomfortable the whole day.

“If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and you’re not learning.”


If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.

@leads -Parenting

“Daisy is a good girl who made a bad choice! We love her! We just don’t love her choices!”

Always criticize behavior, never people or traits.

We actually have a sentence structure for feedback:

  1. What was the exact situation where you observed behavior?
  2. Describe the behavior!
  3. What was the impact? -Final Thoughts

There really is “no effort without error and shortcoming” and there really is no triumph without vulnerability.


Buy the book on Amazon

Hannes also shares sales strategy and tutorials for startups on YouTube and at his consultancy’s blog.



Hannes Kleist

MBA, 10 years strategy at ProSiebenSat.1, 5 years app startup (exited), 5 years digital agency, now helping startups with sales fooxes.de