Dare to Lead: A Courageous Leadership Workshop

Based on the Empirical Research of Dr. Brené Brown

We’ll soon be announcing late 2020 dates for what will be a transformational experience.

What is possible when you are truly a courageous leader?

How much more innovative will you be? What greater goals will you achieve? 

How much more inspired will your leadership be?

Are you ready to access long-lasting and meaningful change in your own leadership?

Now – more than ever – being a leader requires courage and resilience.

Being a leader is hard work, especially considering the rate of change we’re all constantly facing. Demonstrating courageous leadership in such moments of uncertainty and risk isn’t easy. You may worry about making a mistake or fear being exposed as someone who doesn’t have all the answers. 

You might suspect that fear is what keeps you from showing up as authentically and as courageously as you want to, especially in these moments. 

But here’s the remarkable thing: what actually gets in the way of courage isn’t fear; it’s the armor we put on to avoid the fear.

The good news is that it’s possible to learn how to take down our armor and develop the skills to be more daring. The result? 

Fostering a culture that is collaborative, creative and brave.

Dare to Lead Workshop

Based on Dr. Brené Brown’s empirical research on courage, join us for a virtual workshop designed to move leaders like you from armored to daring leadership. 

This workshop spans three partial-day virtual sessions and hour-long mid-session webinars: 

In joining, you’ll learn the four teachable, measurable and observable skill sets of how to be courageous in your leadership.In addition to building these skill sets, in completing the workshop, you’ll receive a Dare to Lead Trained certificate and a Dare to Lead Trained badge to display on your LinkedIn page or elsewhere.

Why We Armor Up

Armored leadership often feels frustrating, lonely and exhausting. Have you been asking yourself questions like: 

“Why aren’t we making faster progress?”
“Why aren’t we reaching our strategic initiatives?” 
“Why aren’t I retaining good people or attracting the right customers?”
“Why is this so hard and why am I so tired?”

If so, chances are, you’re trying to lead while lugging around your armor.

When you can set down your armor, it’s amazing what happens to your energy and capacity. You’ll feel more inspired, more clear, and more connected to your vision. When you’re in this space, your team and partners experience you being truly authentic in your leadership, and they start to show up more fully. 

After all, the research tells us that courage is contagious.

And when it’s present, innovation, creativity and shared purpose happen more easily and more optimally.

The Downstream Partners Take on Brené Brown’s Work

Having worked with business leaders across a variety of industries for more than 25 years, we have discovered that although all leaders are unique and each face slightly different challenges, there are three common ways we tend to “armor up” by: 

Controlling behavior – moving against others through perfectionism, drive, or ambitious or autocratic means

Protecting behavior moving away from others through criticism, distance or arrogance

Complying behavior – moving toward others, (in an unhealthy way) through passivity, pleasing, belonging or conservatism

It is so powerful to understand these tendencies, recognize which ones you might lean into under pressure, and mostly, to discover ways to quickly shift out of them. Because of this, we’ve weaved together our process with Brené’s work to extend to you these insights and this power.

What Leaders Who’ve Engaged Our Process Tell Us

“Ours was a culture of nice at the expense of honest. We were so uncomfortable with conflict. Thanks to our work with Downstream Partners we now embrace the awkward, and the payoff we’ve noticed is so much more authenticity, creativity and productivity. Tough conversations happen because we know how to confidently navigate them. And that frees up our energy and focus and makes our work better.”

—CEO of a Denver-based Nonprofit

“The work we did with Downstream Partners made it possible for my team to feel really safe and empowered to share ideas, take risks and show up with me as real co-leaders vs. just saying what they thought I wanted to hear. Where I used to spend 60-plus hours a week at work and sometimes work through the night, thinking I had to do it all and have all the right answers, I now have a team of leaders I can truly collaborate with. It’s been a gift of freedom for me and has served this organization so well.”

—President & CEO of a Private School

“Our peers in the PR field recognized us this year with an award for taking an innovative approach to a campaign we built. The work we did with Downstream is what made it possible for us to be that innovative. Because we had the courage to put new ideas out there. We laid problems out and all of us were involved in solving them. We were brave. And we were recognized for it.”

—University Chief of Staff

Find out what our Dare to Lead Training could do for you and your organization. Register here.

What You Can Expect

This Dare to Lead workshop will be three, partial-day virtual sessions. Together, we’ll cover:

Rumbling with Vulnerability

Living Into Your Values

Braving Trust

Learning to Rise 

You’ll also receive a workbook filled with leadership insights and techniques, and Dare to Lead tools and processes to help you lead courageously, such as:

Answering the call to courage

Recognizing our shame shields

Reckoning with emotion and getting unhooked

What Else You Can Expect

Connection with other, like-minded leaders from various industries and company sizes, styles and cultures

Networking in the morning with the option to do so after each session

New mindfulness practices and techniques to use at any time to tap into greater resiliency and energy

Intimate access to workshop facilitators, GG and Abbey, to talk through your specific leadership or organizational challenges

Personal learning and self-discovery

Optional live group coaching sessions, (via web conference) with GG, Abbey and other workshop participants to support you in completing your homework between the full-day sessions

GG Headshot

GG Johnston

GG Johnston has been a strategic thinking partner and advisor to business leaders who want to outperform their own historical growth for more than 30 years.

Part mentor. Part therapist. Part chairwoman of the board. GG stands shoulder-to-shoulder with you, working inside your business to create strategic clarity, accountability and alignment around strategy. So you get the maximum return on your investments in your staff, your customers and your partners.

Taking a holistic approach to create organizational change, GG first works with leaders to raise their self-awareness and to identify key areas for growth. As a Dare to Lead ™ certified facilitator of Brene Brown’s empirically research-based Dare to Lead ™ program, GG advances teams by guiding individuals to become more courageous leaders. Also certified and experienced in using a variety of other research-backed tools – such as Leadership Circle, Emergenetics, HeartMath, EQ-i, TKI Conflict Mode, among others – GG empowers leaders to expand their capacity and develop the skills that have proven to move organizations to the next level.

From her more than 15 years running one of Denver’s premier public relations firms, working with hundreds of leaders and teams across various sizes and types of organizations, GG knows that being a leader is hard and that it takes bravery. And that teams only reach their full potential when there is strategic clarity, a systems thinking approach and an investment in having a culture that is rich, courageous and intentional. She is passionate about developing leaders to step fully into their courage and knows that through this, leaders do their most innovative, inspired and joyful work.

GG’s specialties include:

  • Business strategy. Goal setting. Accountability.
  • Organizational Health and Culture
  • Optimized Operations
  • Interpersonal & Relationship Skill Building
  • Communication: Strategy and Coaching
  • Leadership & Staff Development
  • Team Building
  • Facilitating Effective Meetings

Abbey O'Neal

Abbey is an engagement experience strategist and a culture cultivator. An accredited customer experience strategist, (ACXP) and a trained team builder through use of the Emergenetics Selection Program, (ESPA), Abbey leverages these methods along with her 15 years of experience in strategic communications, PR and brand marketing, to help leaders define and operationalize experiences that align their customers’ needs with their organization’s mission and objectives.

With a professional past that includes time spent both in the agency environment and working inside enterprises, Abbey now brings an outside perspective to client organizations. She helps leaders develop and deepen connections – internally and externally – to foster more collaborative, intentional cultures and to grow.

Additionally, she is a yoga instructor, a master energy worker and a certified energy medicine practitioner who teaches leaders simple techniques to boost their energy levels, calm the nervous system or stimulate healing to gain capacity and resilience in the face of high pressure, increasing demands and frequent change.

Given her background, she brings a balance of intuition and actionable observation to help leaders and their teams access their fullest potential.

Abbey’s specialties include:

  • Engagement Experience Design
  • Team Growth & Enhancement
  • Culture Cultivation
  • Business Strategy, Structure & Operations Improvement
  • Mindfulness & Energy Work
  • Internal/Corporate Communications
  • Reputation Management

Have Questions about Dare to Lead?

Reach us to schedule a one-on-one 15-minute Q&A and to get a flavor of what you’ll experience during the workshop.