Brené Brown: Biography highlights
Brené’s reputation as a speaker is built on her ability to explore difficult topics with tremendous honesty, warmth, and humor. She is a thought-leader, researcher, and storyteller with the rare ability to both inspire audiences and leave them with actionable change strategies.
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.
She has spent the past fourteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong.
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.
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.
Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve, and their children Ellen and Charlie.
Watch Brené in action
The UP Experience
“We invited Brené to speak at The UP Experience – a daylong event for business, education, and cultural leaders. She was amazing! Her presentation had all 500-plus people in the audience completely mesmerized. Out of the sixteen internationally renowned writers, scientists, and business experts speaking that day, our audience rated her presentation as one of the top two.
Not only was Brené informative and thought-provoking, but her willingness to talk about the parts of our lives we rarely discuss was profoundly honest. As she spoke about the importance of living our lives from a place of worthiness, her humorous approach to storytelling made us all sit back, appreciate our imperfections, and laugh at the same time.
If you are looking for an excellent speaker who is extremely knowledgeable, inspiring, and relatable, I highly recommend Brené. She will offer your audiences a very real look into the powerful emotions that affect every aspect of our lives.”
Shell Oil Company
“Brené’s research on connection, empathy, and vulnerability in the workplace helped us better understand how the emotional consequences of change play out in the workplace, and how to more effectively engage with one another.
She delivers a critically important message that is supported by original research and does so in an engaging and intelligent way. Leaders at all levels of the organization came away with a new framework for looking at these issues and making effective changes to how we lead.”
The Vita Companies
“The world is full of good corporate speakers, but if you miss the opportunity to have Brené Brown speak to your executive team, you will miss something unique, amazing, and powerful. Brené led our Executive Forum in a forward-thinking and powerful presentation that challenged executives to think differently and act boldly. Today′s corporate leader needs this kind of personal authenticity if they are to meet the growing challenge of corporate transparency. Brené brings this message to the table with commanding charisma.“
“Brené Brown is one of the best trainers we have had in the eleven-year history of Hazelden’s Women Healing conferences. What’s so unique about Brené is that she does her own research and has the talent to share her work using an extremely engaging presentation style. Over 2,000 people attended our conferences in 2007, and she received excellent reviews on all her evaluations. We hope to have Brené at our conferences again in the future.”
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston
“Brené has delivered numerous lectures for us over the past several years, and we believe that in addition to being an incredibly gifted speaker, she is a change agent and a thought leader. She combines research and storytelling in a way that creates real paradigm shifts for audience members. A few examples of their responses include, ′This changed my life,′ and ′I’ve never heard anyone talk about these issues,′ and ′Brené’s parenting guideposts changed the way we raise our children.′
Brené uses warmth, humor, and vulnerability to connect with her audiences at a deeply authentic level. Whether addressing corporate leaders and philanthropists or parents and mental health professionals, she educates and inspires audiences to cultivate more courage, compassion, and connection in their lives. It’s truly an experience to hear her speak.”
Alamo Heights Independent School District
“Brené is one of the most requested speakers among our teachers, administrators, and parents. As a teacher and a parent, she is able to connect with the joys and struggles in the classroom, at home, and within the school community. She talks openly and honestly about the pressures that come from living in an anxious and overscheduled world, offering real strategies for change. She has talked to us about perfectionism, privilege, addiction, bullying, and many other issues.
Brené’s speaking style is one-of-a-kind. One minute the entire audience erupts in laughter, and the next minute everyone is so captivated that you can hear a pin drop. She’s real and inspiring, and our school community is grateful for her ability to combine her fresh perspective with original research, providing the kind of stories that make you realize that we’re all in this together.”
Brené's speaking topics
The Inspirational Leader: Why courage, authenticity, and calm matter
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.
The only constant is change: Developing courage, compassion and connection in over-stressed and anxious organizations
For organizations to successfully navigate change, it is imperative that employees at all levels bring their best selves to work. But too often leaders and managers don’t know how to navigate the emotional landscape of change – especially the human response to stress, anxiety, and fear. Unknowingly, leadership often incites the exact behaviors that sabotage the creativity, trust, and accountability that are essential to managing change.
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.
The hustle for worthiness: Exploring the power of love, belonging, and being enough
A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all men, women, and children. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick. We confuse purpose and meaning with acquisitions and accomplishments. We lose sight of what is important.
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 behavioral 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.
The gifts of imperfections: Guideposts for letting go of who we think we’re supposed and embracing who we are
Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel less than. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking,
What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air?
Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations?
What will people think if I fail or give up?
When can I stop proving myself?