Dr. Brené Brown


  • Research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work
  • Author of five #1 NYT Bestsellers:The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.
  • TEDx Speaker & one of TED’s top 5 most viewed TED talks in the world
  • First researcher to have a filmed talk on Netflix: The Call to Courage special debuted on April 19, 2019
  • Client List includes Google, US Air Force, Slack, Pixar, MD Anderson Cancer Network, Salesforce, Microsoft, Nutanix, Shell Oil, IBM,  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, LinkedIn, Stella + Dot, Ford
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Keynote Topics: Brené enjoys working with event coordinators to customize her talks within the scope of her research. Below is a list of the most requested topics.

Dare to Lead

Leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same question:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

Based on twenty years of research, including the past seven studying leadership, Brené found the answer: 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.

In this keynote, Brené uses research, stories, and examples to explore:

  1. The ten cultural barriers to courageous leadership
  2. The four skill sets that underpin courage

Rumbling with Vulnerability
Living into Our Values
Braving Trust
Learning to Rise

  1. The difference between armored leadership and daring leadership
  2. Why curiosity and grounded confidence are at the heart of brave work and tough conversations

Brené writes, “The skill sets that make up courage are not new; they’ve been aspirational leadership skills for as long as there have been lead­ers.  Yet we haven’t made great progress in developing these skills in leaders, because we don’t dig into the humanity of this work—it’s too messy.  It’s much easier to talk about what we want and need than it is to talk about the fears, feelings, and scarcity that get in the way of achieving all of it. Basically, and perhaps ironically, we don’t have the courage for real talk about courage. But it’s time. And if you want to call these “soft skills” after you’ve tried putting them into practice—go for it. I dare you.”

Rising Strong (The data informing this research was collected from a broad sample of participants. The talk can be adapted for corporate audiences, parents, educators, or faith communities).

 If we’re brave enough often enough we will fall. Rising strong after a setback, disappointment, or failure is how we cultivate wholeheartedness in our lives; it’s the process that teaches us the most about who we are. In this keynote we will:

  • Explore the critical role emotion plays in resetting after a fall and the connections between emotion, thought and behavior.
  • Define integrity and explore how offloading emotion moves us away from our values and corrodes culture.
  • Examine the power of storytelling and the dangers of confabulations and conspiracies.
  • Explore the three elements of the rising strong process (The Reckoning, The Rumble, and The Revolution).
  • Develop actionable strategies for getting back after a fall or setback so that we can live, love, and lead with greater courage.

 Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone (The data informing this research was collected from a broad sample of participants. The talk can be adapted for corporate audiences, parents, educators, or faith communities).

True belonging is the practice of belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are. This type of courage and strength can only be forged in the wilderness – through the lived experiences of collective joy and pain, curiosity and questioning, investing in connection, and grounded confidence.

 In this keynote we will explore:

  • The factors leading to a culture of fitting in versus true belonging, cynicism versus engagement, and disconnection versus connection.
  • The power behind the four practices of true belonging (collective joy and pain; debunking, de-bunkering, and decency; investing in community; and grounded confidence).
  • Six qualities of leaders who cultivate cultures of true belonging and commitment versus leaders who build cultures of fitting in and compliance.


“We have been fortunate to have Brené Brown as a keynote speaker at Workhuman in consecutive years and she has already garnered “rock star” status. Our attendees line up hours before her talk and literally run to their seats to get as close as possible to one of the most dynamic speakers in the world today.  Undeniably authentic, inspiring, and motivating, Brené has solidified her place as one of the highest-rated speakers in Workhuman conference history.”
--Kevin Mullins, VP of Global Communications, Workhuman

“Brené Brown far exceeded our expectations. Her ability to engage and hold the audience was incredible and attendees were talking about it for the remainder of the event. Attendees came away with a new understanding of the importance of vulnerability, that it is the birthplace of innovation and creativity, getting into the arena, having a go and being a participant not a spectator, and being courageous is not always comfortable. She has an amazing ability to draw out the key findings of her research on vulnerability and courage, and present them in a way that strikes a chord with all attendees and leaves them contemplating their own lives, professional and personal, and making instantaneous meaningful changes to their actions and behaviours.”
Commonwealth Bank

“Our session with Brené was overwhelmingly positive and our leaders commented on what a great experience it was. Our survey results indicated she received the best ratings for external speakers that we’ve had in the last two years. Her content is applicable to our professional and personal lives, men and women alike. Her message about vulnerability is re-shaping our conversation about what it means to be a good leader – we were surprised by how engaged and excited out team was about the message!”
Home Depot

“A unique experience for hard-charged senior executives – one which allowed the team to look at leadership from a very different, very personal perspective. The concept of Daring Greatly, combined with wholehearted and being vulnerable opened up their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and step change how they will lead in a high growth company.”
Mondelez International

“One question we had when we hired Brené to speak to our audience of more than 3,000 business people from 90 countries was, ‘Would her topic and style be effective for business?’ My answer is a resounding YES. While many speakers try to motivate, Brené actually inspires people in business by helping them identify and free themselves from what blocks them from their reaching their potential. Her delivery was deeply personal yet it was relevant for all, including those in our culturally diverse audience for whom English is their second language. The universal comment from our attendees was, ‘I felt she was speaking directly to me.’ That is the ultimate endorsement.”
Virtuoso Ltd.

“Today’s global economy is forcing businesses to increase productivity and efficiency while reorganizing to reflect the global landscape. 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 come away with a new framework for looking at these issues and making effective changes to how they lead.”
Shell Oil Company

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