Secret of the universe #456: Wholeheartedness. (Check Brené Brown’s TEDX talk.)

I’ve noticed something.

There is a certain shared quality I’ve seen across several of the groups I’ve worked with lately: people learning to drop down into a difficult conversation in an open, clear, productive way; groups willing to take risks together as they take on a challenging task; and several simply excellent leaders of people. What these people have in common is hugely important – essential to what they’re trying to do – and yet has been hard for me to put a finger on. Until I watched Brené Brown’s TED talk, that is.

A friend from long ago recently reached out to reconnect. He’d been working for IDEO in Asia, experimenting with new, emergent forms of community engagement, and doing some seriously good soul-searching alongside. Over coffee, his eyes got wide when he heard I’d not seen Brown’s talk. (It’s a look I’ve gotten pretty used to, like, “What?! You’ve been living under a rock!” Odds are high. Anyway…)

Give yourself a treat: 20 possibly life-changing minutes to start your week or day. Brown’s discoveries and personal revelations as a researcher/storyteller/human being connect deeply to the profound quality I’ve noticed across those successful with conflict, creation, and leading others. Her work also dovetails with  Bob Kegan and Linda Lahey’s Immunity to Change work of which I’m so fond.

Let me know what you think.