‘Dare to Lead’: A Brené Brown Workshop for Courageous Leadership

Continuing Studies workshop in Moorhead and Minneapolis led by the Rev. Sarah Ciavarri

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions.

Thus begins the premise of Brené Brown’s latest book and corresponding course, “Dare to Lead.”

Her latest trademarked workshop will be held through Concordia Continuing Studies Sept. 26-27 on Concordia’s Moorhead campus and Nov. 14-15 in Minneapolis.

Like “Daring Greatly,” the “Dare to Lead” workshop is based on research conducted by Brown, a bestselling author and professor at the University of Houston, Texas, who has studied courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy for more than 20 years.  

Her most recent contribution to her research is grounded on a seven-year study of brave – or daring – leadership.

Participants will study and practice skills sets that are teachable, observable and measurable. They will understand what it means to lead with courage and integrity. It all starts with a willingness to be vulnerable. As Brown states: “Our ability to be daring leaders will never be greater than our capacity for vulnerability.”

Brown looks beyond formal titles and status when she defines leadership. In her book, she defines a leader as “anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that leadership.”

The Rev. Sarah Ciavarri ’93 is a certified facilitator and Lutheran pastor who will lead the workshops.

“This changes the way people show up in their leadership, their careers and their relationships,” she says.

Ciavarri discovered Brown’s research at a time in her life when she faced deep struggles and hard challenges in a leadership role. Brown’s resources gave her tools and access to a community of people who practiced vulnerability and self-improvement.

“It gave me hope and support that I never would’ve imagined,” Ciavarri says. 

Jillain Veil-Ehnert, director of foundation relations and research grants at Concordia, attended a “Dare to Lead” workshop facilitated by Ciavarri earlier this year. She had read several of Brown’s books and wanted to dive more deeply into the concepts.

She enjoyed learning from the other participants, as well as the exercises led by Ciavarri.

But the best part came, she says, when she applied the concepts to her work life. Shortly after attending the workshop, Veil-Ehnert was in a meeting where she applied an approach she had practiced during the workshop. Afterward, a colleague asked her what had changed because she had directly and appropriately handled conflict.

“I was able to use some of what we learned right away because we did a lot of reflection and role-playing,” she says. “The experience would be valuable for anyone at any point in their career.”

CEUs will be available for social work professionals in both North Dakota and Minnesota. 

To learn more about the two-day workshops and to register, visit Continuing Studies.