Thursday, August 6, 2015

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Dr. Brene Brown

(Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit praying for God to give me new insight to help me in leading with Operation Christmas Child)

Dr. Brene Brown -- Rising Strong

I am going to tell you a story that happened a couple summers ago when we decided to rent a lake house in Austin, TX.  I spent my summers there as a child.  My husband and I decided ahead of time that we needed to set rules for this two week vacation.  We decided to cook every night and set ground rules.  The goal was to come back healthier.   We decided to swim 1000 yards every day.  My husband and I met as swimming coaches.  He still swims.  This was the first time we would be in the water together for 25 years.  The whole extended family was invited.

One morning we dive in and start swimming.  We stop about half way across the cove.  I am overwhelmed by the majesty of the moment and say to my husband, "I feel so connected to you.  I'm so glad we're doing this."  He says, "Yep, water's good," and keeps swimming.  My first thought is that he is so overwhelmed with emotion he doesn't know how to respond.   I say again, "I'm so glad we did this.  I feel so close to you."  And, again, he says, "Yep, water's good."  I am now fueled through the water by rage.  I am now playing this out to getting back to the cabin and how the 24-48 hour cold war will begin.  I will win that because I'm meaner, but it will be uncomfortable and egg shell-y.  I don't want that to happen, so I ask him to get back in the water, and I say, "What's going on?  I'm trying to connect with you and you're blowing me off."  He says, "I don't really want to have this conversation right now."  And I said, "Tough (I'm editing a lot).  What is going on?"  Then he says, "Are you being vulnerable?"  I replied, "I am but I'm right on the edge of rage."  I don't know what to do next and then I remember this sentence from my research, "I'm making up one of these two stories--you looked over at me and thought  'she's old' or 'she doesn't rock that Speedo.'    

What is the emotion we feel when we make a bid for connection and are rejected?  Shame.    My husband said, "I don't mind taking the kids across the cove all day long.  I don't know what you were saying to me because I was trying to stave off the worse panic attack.  I had a dream last night that I had all five of the kids and a speed boat came along and I was afraid it would hit us so I took the kids underwater.  So I don't know what you were saying to me while I was swimming.  I was just counting strokes and trying not to have a panic attack."  This was a perfect shame storm.  What is the number one shame trigger for women?  Appearance.  What's the number one shame trigger for men?  Appearance of weakness.    I looked at him and said, "I'm so grateful you told me the truth about this." and he said, "Bull.  You want the guy who when the boat comes, he throws the kids to shore and swims so fast he catches them on the other side."  The number one perpetrator of shame for men is women.  Have you ever been vulnerable with someone and had them use it to come back at you?

I said to him, "You and I are all we have.  The stories we are telling ourselves put our marriage in trouble.  I'm so glad we can tell each other what is really happening."

We all want more love, more intimacy, more joy.  The only path to those is more vulnerability.

The instant something difficult happens--a conflict, a failure--our brain is wired to make up a story about what is happening.  If we can give our brain a story in that second it rewards us chemically.  It rewards us whether the story is accurate or not.

The dark middle space--when it's too late to turn around but you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  In terms of creativity and leadership, what people do in that space separates leaders from non-leaders.  What you do when you're in that space pretty much alone is where courage is formed.  You can go into it 500 times and it never changes.  Experience gives us a little bit of grace that whispers, "You've done it before."

Act 1:  called to adventure
Act 2:  the dark space , then begin to formulate plans
Act 3:  gets it done

I'm not a huge fan of Act 2.  I want to go from Act 1 to Act 3.  In this scenario, Act 2 was the swim back to the dock.  I knew it would end in self-righteous payback.  What happened on that swim back was what I learned from "Rising Strong."  The men and women who can get back on their feet after adversity go through the reckoning, the rumble, and the revolution.

What do transformational leaders have in common?

1.  They do discomfort -- say the hard truth;  As leaders you can choose comfort or courage; you can't have both.  Courage is uncomfortable; that's why it's rare.
2.  They have absolute emotional awareness about themselves and people around them.  (If you want to see behavior change you have to speak to people's emotions.)  Curiosity and line of inquiry are the greatest tools for leaders.  Ask people to help you understand.

Reckoning--be willing to examine your feelings
Rumble -- be willing to rumble with emotion
Revolution -- the change

When we pretend the hard things are not happening.  You don't get to write the ending to a story you don't own.  The stories we keep making up every day are not true.

We're the brave and brokenhearted and we're rising strong.  Those who have the courage to care will always know disappointment and those who are brave enough to try will always know failure.  If you are brave enough often enough you are going to fail.  There is nothing more dangerous to the critic, the cynic, and the fear monger than those who are willing to fail because we know how to get back up.  I think the risk is worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment