Leadership can make or break a team. Today, we dive into the secrets of brave leadership with actress, speaker, and author Kimberly Davis. Kimberly has led cross-cultural workshops throughout the world. She is a TEDx speaker and an expert on authentic leadership. She is the author of the book Brave Leadership, and she is here to share her message of personal power, authenticity, and courageous leadership.

We talk about how teaching leaders stage presence evolved into teaching brave and authentic leadership. Technology and the work culture has changed so much in the past decade, and we are asking more than ever of team members. To really relate and find that passion, joy, and loyalty in your team or coworkers, you really need to connect to people at the heart level. We talk about this and more in this episode.


Show Notes

  • [03:37] As a child Kimberly was fearless, when she went to her first theater audition she suddenly discovered what fear was. Through her theater training, she learned to work through nervousness.
  • [05:17] When she entered the corporate world, she started studying her colleagues and leaders to discover what was getting in their way or blocking their path to success.
  • [05:37] She discovered that some of the things that got in her way as an actor were also getting in the way of these people in corporate America.
  • [06:06] When she realized the human connection and that there were tools in the theater that can help people in corporate America, she started applying these principles.
  • [06:16] She launched her business on stage leadership about 12 years ago.
  • [06:21] She developed a leadership program based on theater.
  • [08:14] She did a test program and discovered that this was the work of her life and what she was meant to do.
  • [08:38] She started writing her book 5 years ago.
  • [09:18] Being who you are powerfully in this world is the bravest thing that you can do. She discovered she was teaching brave leadership not onstage leadership skills.
  • [10:10] We all have the ability to be brave leaders. It’s about showing up in the world in a way that people want to engage, listen, and invest in what you’re doing.
  • [11:13] A big part of the book is why a new kind of leadership matters now. The world has really transformed since 2008. There’s been an explosion in technology and we are asking more people than ever before.
  • [11:49] The old standard command-and-control leadership is just not getting the results that we need.
  • [11:59] We have to connect to people’s hearts to get to Passion, joy, and loyalty.
  • [12:21] People connect to people. They need to see who you are as a human being. That’s a vulnerable place to be in the workplace.
  • [13:21] Bravery unfolds one situation at a time.
  • [14:25] We have to surround ourselves with people who are focused on growing and learning and being better.
  • [16:10] One of the biggest barriers to being brave is where we focus our attention.
  • [17:20] Focus on fear is the problem.
  • [19:28] Impacts live in action.
  • [20:13] Are you genuine, worthy of trust, reliance, and belief? You don’t get to decide if you’re authentic. It’s the people you lead and influence who get to decide.
  • [21:00] It’s how other people experience you. And that is what gives you access.
  • [21:20] Being who you are powerfully and then layer in the action that you want to take.
  • [23:09] Focusing on danger and pain can be your biggest barrier to brave. What you need is an alternate focus.
  • [24:35] Successful actors were differentiated by their focus of attention. They focused on making an impact on someone or something on the stage with them.
  • [25:25] Harnessing your attention on purposeful action will completely transcend your performance.
  • [26:41] We are all far more brave than we know. It’s our focus of attention that makes the difference in how we show up in the world. How we show up in the world is what makes the results.
  • [27:40] Presence begins with being present.
  • [29:06] Impact lives in the eye of the beholder. Whether or not you achieve your super objective is up to them.
  • [30:23] Think about how the other person feels.
  • [30:58] Kimberly has learned that she is incredibly human but also better than she knows.
  • [31:29] Taking focused action and one step at a time is what really changes your game.
  • [31:52] Take your life one situation at a time and focus on the impact you want to have.
  • [32:23] If you’re not bringing mindfulness, focusing on impact, and looking from the other person’s lens you are going to mess up.
  • [34:14] Bring your best self now and try to do better in the next situation. Don’t beat yourself up.
  • [35:13] Vulnerability is our biggest barrier and our biggest breakthrough to brave.
  • [38:05] Your super objective is what drives you and get you out of bed in the morning. For Kimberly, it’s connecting people to the best of who they are.
  • [41:54] Give yourself permission to be who you are. Know that who you truly are is enough.

Links and Resources:

Kimberly Davis
Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Powerful, and Authentic Self to Get the Results You Need
Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value
Onstage Leadership
Brave Leadership
@OnStageKimberly on Twitter
Kimberly Davis on LinkedIn
Kimberly Davis Facebook