Still trying to crack the code on feeling connected--to co-workers, your boss, your employees? Social science rock star and best-selling author Brene Brown tackles the answer to this question (and more) in her new book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone (Random House), which examines what it means to "belong."
Brown, who rose to fame after her popular TED Talk, "The Power of Vulnerability," will be talking about her new ideas and research in her keynote at Inc.'s annual Inc. 5000 Conference along with Shark Tank's Daymond John and Dollar Shave Club's Michael Dubin, when the event kicks off today in Palm Desert, California. After spending 16 years applying her style of academic rigor to topics like courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame, Brown goes deep on how to belong at a time where everything from politics to social media to culture has become incredibly fractured and polarized.
In Wilderness, Brown unpacks the complexities behind what belonging actually means, and treats it like an aspiration one can achieve through daily practice. While she mentions tools like holding hands with strangers, her strongest piece of advice is counterintuitive, if not contradictory: Your biggest barrier to belonging is working too hard to fit in. So stop trying to adapt, and instead learn how to stand tall in your own skin.
Here's an excerpt of a backstage interview with Brown at a past Inc. conference, discussing how vulnerability can be an unexpected source of strength for business leaders.