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Dare to lead part 1 – Perfectionism

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dare to lead
Brené Brown
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Dare to lead part 1. – Perfectionism


I started to read book called “Dare to lead” by Brené Brown and in that book, she writes about how accepting your feelings makes you a better leader. She breaks down the beliefs that leader needs to be the person with most less emotions. I took part of the which focused on perfectionism and wrote about that. In later essays I will cover more topics of this book.


The core of all emotions, vulnerability is key element to know and how to practice it to became great and daring leader. Vulnerability is core of all emotions that we feel. It is not just core for negative emotions like aggression, shame, disappointment, but it’s core for positive emotions as well like happiness, love, joy, and passion. We need vulnerability to be humans, yet we try to suppress it and act like we are not vulnerable at all. Thinking that we can be machines that doesn’t feel anything negative emotions. The reality is opposite of this common goal or a feeling about being an indestructible machine. I’ll ask you a question that was inspired by this book, how can you feel love if you are not ready to face the spectrum of your feelings? You are suppressing all the positive emotions as well when you are trying to get rid of negative feelings. (Brown 2018.)


Usually what keeps people from “rumbling” with vulnerability like Brown said in her book is fear of shame from the potential mistake. It is common to think as a leader that you should be the perfect role model who doesn’t do mistakes. You carry the team with you. In the reality, the most effective and respected leader is the one who shows emotions and admits his/hers mistakes in the moment of wrongdoing. They hold their selves accountable as leaders. This will have a positive impact to your teammates since you are willing to go to the uncomfortzone and rumbling with vulnerability, especially in front of them. These traits of a leader create trust among the team and makes it more efficient when comparing to team whose leader wants to be emotionless robot. Also when the leader show the way with going through hard facts of being accountable, it motivates rest of the team as well to express their emotions. (Brown 2018.)


Going back to the feelings that can suppress your willingness to rumble with vulnerability and one of the biggest ones that is related to phenomenon mentioned above is perfectionism. When we are talking about perfectionism it’s very easy to mix it with goal of thriving to excellence. These things are quite the opposites from each other because perfectionism is defensive move instead of being healthy achievement and goal. When someone wants only perfectionism, there is usually some things in the background that needs to be being heard what activates this defensive move. Interesting thing about perfectionism is that it’s easy to think about as shield that helps us to move forward when in the fact it’s “twenty- ton shield” (2018), that keeps us from being heard or seen. It blocks basically everything and then we start to wonder, what’s going on. Perfectionism is not thriving towards excellence, instead, it’s thriving towards approval. This kind of mindset usually comes from the childhood and unfortunately it stays alive in the adulthood too and affects your way of life which becomes performance based. In Brene Browns book she mentions very powerful things about perfectionism and it’s the fact that perfectionism correlates with depression, anxiety, addiction, life-paralysis and missed opportunities. Very heavy and negative things and usually are being unseen. These fears and symptoms rise from being afraid of failing, not meeting people expectations and fear of being criticized. With perfectionism it’s also easy to think that it’s a healthy shield that keeps shame away when in a fact, it’s a function a shame. What makes the perfectionism so toxic is that you are trying to achieve perfection when there is no perfection in the reality. It’s endless and hopeless road to be on.  Basically, in perfectionism you are avoiding feeling shame, fear, judgement and blame and when you get positive results avoiding them, it only keeps you going with it. It’s addictive and it feeds itself with small so-called successes of avoidance. (Brown 2018.)


To overcome the perfectionism in a team and in an individual level is to speak about it even when it’s hard thing to do and acknowledge the moments that feeds the perfectionism. Tackle the root source instead of just curing the symptoms. Deciding together about seeing those red flags and holding each other accountable to not go there is key element too in this matter. When team decides these things together, it will improve. I really liked how Brown said in her book: “build trust in the process”. It goes perfectly with Proakatemia’s classic slogan “Trust the process”. Let’s combine those and have “Trust the process and build trust in the process”. I want to end this essay here and I will write more about this very interesting book. (Brown 2018.)



Brown, B. 2018. Dare to lead. London. Vermillion, an imprint of Ebury Publishing.

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