It’s rare that a book resonates with you on so many levels, especially one that’s not aimed at you! One of Protagion’s coaches recommended Tara Mohr’s work to us, and while on the surface it’s aimed at women, it has practical insights for all of us looking to step up into our unique purpose. It will take many articles to pay homage to her amazing work, so over the coming months I’ll try by diving deeper into some of the topics I touch on in this article.
...I listened to them talk, in awe of their intelligence, their ideas and their character – their honest concern for others and their commitment to doing the right thing. I kept thinking, these are the kind of people I wish were in charge: hardworking, wise, ethical women and men who care a great deal about people.”
A number of times in Playing Big, I felt echoes of Brene Brown’s insights on courage and vulnerability. Two examples: (i) when Tara refers to taking back authority of her own work and not being triggered by praise or criticism, and (ii) when she describes sharing our own stories to support change: “Even when our work is informed by research and professional expertise… it gains power and resonance when we remove the mask and imbue it with a vulnerable sharing about why it matters to us”.
Read more to uncover uplifting insights from Playing Big, including what drove Tara to create the programme, where her material comes from, and how the book’s structure shifts from our inner thoughts to taking and sustaining positive action. The article ends with Tara’s vision for our future world, one shaped by our individual and collective actions to dream, play, and leap bigger.
Airbnb and its growth over the past decade are legendary, scaling rapidly across countries to become an international brand. Leigh Gallagher documented its journey in her early 2017 book “The Airbnb Story: How to Disrupt an Industry, Make Billions of Dollars… and Plenty of Enemies”*, definitely a worthwhile read, both as an analysis of its evolution and challenges but also an inspiration to others who want to change the world too.
One of the interesting aspects is the extent to which Airbnb’s people scaled as the company itself grew rapidly, adapting and learning new skills at an incredibly fast pace. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, is a shining example of this. In Leigh’s words: “One of the unique aspects of the Airbnb story has nothing to do with its weird, unthinkable idea for a business or its high-profile battles with lawmakers or even the rapid growth of its user base. Rather, it is the lack of traditional management experience of the company’s founding team – especially its CEO – and the speed with which they have had to learn how to become leaders of a very large company.”
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but the way they managed to keep up and learnt to lead a company that had come to be Airbnb’s size with such little prior experience may offer a new playbook for leadership development.”
Read more to discover techniques that Brian used to learn and grow rapidly, innate skills he possesses, and our extrapolation to lessons applicable to all of us wanting to keep learning throughout our lifetimes.
It’s always a delight to watch Brene Brown speak. She has a magical ability to connect with her audience, using both empathy and humour, and her messages resonate strongly. Her words, spoken or written, move us, inspire us, and help us to make changes in our lives.
Brene told us in her Netflix show (The Call to Courage) that she is “super introverted”, which makes her another example (like fellow author Susan Cain) of an amazing speaker who is an introvert. She’s also highly structured, saying: “I'm more of the ‘life's messy, clean it up, organise it and put it into a bento box’ [type].” One of her superpowers is the unusual combination of her research and storytelling skills which bring her studies of human connection to life – as a researcher/storyteller, she’s a slasher. In her words: “I am a storyteller. I'm a qualitative researcher. I collect stories; that's what I do. And maybe stories are just data with a soul.”
This post explores the themes of courage, vulnerability, connection, creativity and critics, drawing on Brene’s ideas and sharing a recording of her keynote to creatives at the 99U conference. Exposing our ideas to the world takes courage, so we highlight some of her classic quotes which connect with us at Protagion, and offer reflections from one of our mentors on her book “Daring Greatly”*. Read more to be inspired by Brene’s ideas, advice and authenticity.