Episode 23: Dr. Rosie Book Club – Choosing Courage

We’re wrapping up our summer mini book club. In this episode I’m talking about key insights from a new book by Jim Detert - Choosing Courage. As the world’s foremost expert on workplace courage, he leverages more than 20 years of research and work in this area to provide an inspirational, practical, and research-based guide for standing up and speaking out skillfully at work. I reflect on some key aspects of the book that I see relevant for so many, connect the dots to other key aspects of leveraging courage to be a daring leader, and some things you can think about to start showing up more courageously in your own life. I hope you gain some useful insights from this episode and would love to hear your thoughts as you read the book yourself.

About the Book:

Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work

Choosing Courage is an inspirational, practical, and research-based guide for standing up and speaking out skillfully at work.

As the world’s foremost expert on workplace courage, Jim Detert leverages his 20 years of research and work on workplace courage – why people speak up or stay silent – to help unpack why courage matters and how we can build our skills to choose courage more often. The reality is that we all have opportunities to be courageous at work. But since courage requires risk—to our reputations, our social standing, and, in some cases, our jobs—we often fail to act, which leaves us feeling powerless and regretful for not doing what we know is right. There’s a better way to handle these crucial moments.

Doing for courage what Angela Duckworth has done for grit and Brené Brown for vulnerability, Jim Detert explains that courage isn’t a character trait that only a few possess; it’s a virtue developed through practice. And with the right attitude and approach, you can learn to hone it like any other skill and incorporate it into your everyday life. Choosing Courage will give you a fresh perspective on the power of voicing your authentic ideas and opinions. Whether you’re looking to make a mark, stay true to your values, act with more integrity, or simply grow as a professional, this is the guide you need to achieve greater impact at work.

Why this book is worth reading :

The work I do to rehumanize workplaces and equip all types of people to show up as leaders anchors on courage-building skills. This book is a great build on Dare to Lead‘s courage building skills to bring tactical actions people can take to specifically show up more competently courageous in the workplace. Similar to 11+ years of research by Brené Brown, Jim Detert’s research has found that being competently courageous at work is essential for progress.

He also acknowledges the challenges that our human DNA brings us with wanting to self-protect and avoid the perceived risks that acts of courage at work can bring. He provides a framework to think about various levels and steps of what our own workplace courage journey looks like and to find a path where we can start building our courage competence.

Points to think on while reading :

  1. Where does your own need for self-protection get in your way of acting courageously at work?
  2. How can you use your core values as a Lighthouse and guide to ground you and help you decipher when it’s the right time and situation to speak up and demonstrate courage?
  3. What would open up for you and what do you see is possible if you did the work to start showing up a little more courageously?

About the Author:

Adam is an organizational psychologist at The Wharton School, where he has been the top-rated professor for seven straight years. His books have sold millions of copies, his TED talks have been viewed over 25 million times, and his podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant has topped the charts. His pioneering research has inspired people to rethink fundamental assumptions about motivation, generosity, and creativity. He has been recognized as one of the world’s ten most influential thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40, and has received distinguished scientific achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation. Find out more at adamgrant.net.



We are planning for another Ask Me Anything episode at the end of summer where I take your questions and share my thoughts. This time, YOU get to be part of the episode. Simply leave a message with your name and question for me at: 877-373-6850, extension 1.

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