Casandra Brené Brown is an American research professor, author (storyteller), podcast host, and currently teaching at the University of Houston. where I hold the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair. I am also a visiting professor in management at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair. She is also a visiting professor in management at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
Brené Brown is considered a world-class expert on the topics of shame, vulnerability, and leadership. She is the author of six New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Atlas of the Heart, Braving the Wilderness, Dare to Lead, and Rising Strong. With Tarana Burke, she co-edited the best-selling anthology You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience.
She has spent more than two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 25 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service in April 2019.
Brené is also the Founder and CEO of COURAGEworks an online learning platform that offers classes based on her research. She has most recently developed courses based on her current study of how organizations develop brave leaders and courage cultures.
In 2020, Brené Brown began hosting the weekly Spotify original podcasts Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead. Unlocking Us alternates between interviews with high-profile guests and solo episodes where Brown talks alone, directly to listeners. In these solo episodes, Brown tells personal stories from her life, explains learnings from her research, and supplements it with summaries of other related social science work. Interview guests include grief expert David Kessler, singer Alicia Keys, writer Glennon Doyle, and activist Tarana Burke who started the Me Too movement.
Brené Brown has won numerous teaching awards, including the College’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008, she was named Behavioral Health Scholar-in-Residence at the Council on Alcohol and Drugs in Houston. Brené Brown’s work has been featured on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) a public television network in the United States, National Public Radio (NPR) is the United States public broadcasting service, 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. Most recently, Houston Women Magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Influential Women of 2009.
Brené Brown was born on November 18, 1965, in San Antonio, Texas, to Charles Arthur Brown and Casandra Deanne Rogers. After some time of staying in Texas, the family then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where Brene grew up. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, followed by a Master of Social Work (MSW) in 1996 and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston in 2002.
Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve. And they have two children, Ellen and Charlie.
Brief Book Review
In her book Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven (87) of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.
“I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”
Secondly, in her book dare to lead, Brene Brown stated that Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas and has the courage to develop that potential.
When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.
But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.
Brené Brown writes, “One of the most important findings of my career is that 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. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.”
Some Quotes of Brené Brown
“Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.”
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
“Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.”
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”
“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”
“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.”