Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
She is a motivational speaker, emotional intelligence expert and author of six New York Times best-selling books. She has spent the last two decades studying shame, empathy, courage, and vulnerability.
Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with over 50 million views combined between TED and YouTube. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed talk on Netflix, The Call to Courage special.
Because vulnerability is at the centre of many thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, Brené’s research topics cover a broad range of emotions and experiences, including shame, courage, and authenticity. Her ideas can be applied equally to personal life, work, and leadership.
Brené poses the questions:
How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?
How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognise that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?
Brené has won numerous teaching awards, including the College’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008, she was named Behavioural Health Scholar-in-Residence at the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston. Brené’s work has been featured on PBS, NPR, and the Oprah and Friends Radio Network, and her articles have appeared in Self magazine, Elle magazine, and many national newspapers.
She is also a frequent guest on radio shows across the US and she has given two TEDx talks on her vulnerability research.
Client List includes Google, US Air Force, Slack, Pixar, MD Anderson Cancer Network, Salesforce, Microsoft, Nutanix, Shell Oil, IBM, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, LinkedIn, Stella + Dot, Ford
Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two children.
Brené Brown’s reputation as a motivational speaker is built on her ability to explore difficult topics with tremendous honesty, warmth, and humour. She is a thought-leader, researcher and storyteller with the rare ability to both inspire audiences and leave them with actionable change strategies.
Below is a list of her most requested keynote speech topics.
Dare to Lead
Leaders in organisations ranging from small entrepreneurial start-ups and family-owned businesses to non-profits, civic organisations, and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same question:
How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?
Based on twenty years of research, including the past seven studying leadership, Brené found the answer: Daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart.
In this keynote, Brené uses research, stories, and examples to explore:
1. The ten cultural barriers to courageous leadership
2. The four skill sets that underpin courage: Rumbling with Vulnerability; Living into Our Values; Braving Trust; Learning to Rise.
3. The difference between armoured leadership and daring leadership
4. Why curiosity and grounded confidence are at the heart of brave work and tough conversations
From developing talent and connecting with consumers, to building brands and fostering innovative cultures, inspiration is critical. Inspirational leadership is not about job titles and roles – it's a style of leadership available to anyone who is willing to practice courage in the midst of fear, to choose authenticity over self-protection, and to foster calm in times of high reactivity.
In this keynote workshop, Dr. Brené Brown will explore the three primary components of inspirational leadership; the behaviours, emotions, and thoughts that sabotage inspiration; and actionable strategies for practising inspirational leadership.
The Power of Vulnerability
In our culture, vulnerability has become synonymous with weakness. We associate vulnerability with emotions like fear, shame, and scarcity; emotions that we don't want to discuss, even when they profoundly affect the way we live, work, and even lead.
To reduce our feelings of vulnerability, we wake up every morning, put on our game face, and rarely take it off – especially at the office. We use invulnerability as a shield to protect us from uncomfortable emotions and struggles with anxiety and self-doubt. But invulnerability has a price.
Vulnerability is indeed at the core of difficult emotions, but it is also the birthplace of: Creativity and innovation, authenticity, adaptability to change and accountability – the key elements that every business needs to survive and thrive.
Brené Brown explores the critical role vulnerability plays in our personal and professional success; the five most common strategies we use to avoid and minimise vulnerability and how they move us away from our goals; and five actionable strategies for leaning into our discomfort and embracing vulnerability as a source of strength and inspiration.
Great Expectations: What Leaders and Managers Need to Understand About Goals
Setting, tracking, and celebrating goals are primary tasks in business; however, very few managers and leaders understand the emotional, cognitive, and behavioural anatomy of the goal process. Understanding the loaded dynamics of expectations, disappointments, and accomplishments gives us more tools for cultivating success with our own goals and becoming more effective mentors for our employees.
In this keynote workshop, Dr. Brené Brown explores the relationship between buy-in and the deeply human need for purpose and meaning; how fear, blame, and scarcity sabotage the goal process; why hope, vulnerability, and self-compassion are prerequisites for success; and actionable strategies for increasing goal achievement.
Our session with Brené Brown was overwhelmingly positive and our leaders commented on what a great experience it was. Our survey results indicated she received the best ratings for external speakers that we've had in the last two years. Her content is applicable to our professional and personal lives, men and women alike. Her message about vulnerability is reshaping our conversation about what it means to be a good leader – we were surprised by how engaged and excited out team was about the message!
Dr. Brown's presentation was the highlight of our conference! Her presentation style was warm, funny and engaging. Her positive and uplifting message was inspirational. I heard repeatedly from our participants that they felt that her talk was life changing!
Dr. Brené Brown cuts right to the core of what is so challenging about personal and professional relationships. She is both charming and disarming, which moves us beyond our usual defences to the place where our hearts and mind open and insight occurs. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brené inspired hundreds of employees and leaders to dare greatly.
Brené Brown was able to really connect with our audience. Through her words of wisdom, hilarious anecdotes and her personal story, our attendees were enthralled from her first word to her last. We gave copies of her book to our attendees and throughout the day, we noticed several of our clients grabbing a quiet moment between breakout sessions and reading her book. The power of her message speaks for itself!
Let me say that my expectations were quite high based on seeing her TED talks and having spoken with Brené on the phone. That said, she exceeded my expectations. From the moment I met with her, I was taken with how down to earth and approachable she is. Brené models what she talks about, enhancing the power and impact of her message.
One question we had when we hired Brené Brown to speak to our audience of more than 3,000 business people from 90 countries was, 'Would her topic and style be effective for business?' My answer is a resounding YES. While many speakers try to motivate, Brené actually inspires people in business by helping them identify and free themselves from what blocks them from their reaching their potential. Her delivery was deeply personal yet it was relevant for all, including those in our culturally diverse audience for whom English is their second language. The universal comment from our attendees was, 'I felt she was speaking directly to me.' That is the ultimate endorsement.
Dr. Brown was exactly what we needed - when we needed it. She connected with our team of senior leaders like I have never experienced before - driving home her point that it is the human connection that will be what's absolutely necessary to navigate us through our transformation.
Thanks so much for visiting us today! Some of the words I've heard used to describe your talk have included "inspiring", "amazing" and of course... "awesome"! Your message is an important one that people need to hear. Looking forward to continuing to work with you in the future.
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