Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose. The strongest leaders are BRAVE – Brave in that they are courageous and BRAVE in that they think in terms of behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and the environment, ideally from the outside-in, starting with environment and working through to behaviors.

The BRAVE framework is just that, a framework for thinking. It doesn’t give you the answers, but it does help you think about the right questions. It’s useful in general and can be applied in different specific circumstances. This article lays out 18 ways to think about BRAVE Leadership in general, BRAVE People Leadership, BRAVE Innovation and BRAVE Communication.

General Framework and Questions

    • Environment – Where to play?
    • Values – What matters and why?
    • Attitudes – How to win?
    • Relationships – How to connect?
    • Behaviors – What impact?

    BRAVE Leadership

    1 – Where to play in terms of history, business environment and recent results: context.

    2 – What matters and why to get to mission, vision and values: purpose.

    3 – How to win by making the right strategic, posture and cultural choices.

    4 – How to connect via communication. (More on that in a minute.)

    5 – What impact in terms of implementation.


    BRAVE People Leadership

    6 – Where to play in terms of future capability planning

    • Developing current people by building knowledge and skills on top of their existing talents over time.
    • Acquiring new people with required talents relatively soon and then building their knowledge and skills over time.
    • Acquiring new people with the required talent, knowledge and skills just in time as needed.

    X – What matters and why to get to mission, vision and values: purpose. (Same as above.)

    7 – How to win by making the right choices across acquiring, developing and encouraging.

    8 – How to connect via indirect communication to drive compliance, direct communication to prompt contribution and emotional communication to inspire commitment.

    9 – What impact in terms of implementation.

    If their performance is X  => You should Y

    Outstanding in the right role => Cherish and reward them for what they do

    Outstanding in the wrong role => Promote them into the right role

    Effective in the right role => Support them in what they do

    Effective in the wrong role => Move them laterally into the right role

    Ineffective in the right role => Invest to improve their performance in that role

    Ineffective in the wrong role => Move them out of that role or the organization – now


    Setting the Stage for BRAVE Innovation

    10 – Where to play vis a vis revolutionary versus evolutionary innovation.

    X – What matters and why to get to mission, vision and values: purpose. (Same as above.)

    11 – How to win by innovating across products, processes, services, technologies and business models

    12 – How to connect via what Linda Hill describes as unleashing “the talents and passions of the many from the stranglehold of the few.”

    13 – What impact in terms of creating with creative abrasion, iterating with creative agility and analyzing with creative resolution before implementing and scaling.


    BRAVE Communication

    14 – Where to play in terms of target audience – getting at those who care most.

    15 – What matters and why to you, your organization and your audience.

    16 – How to win with the right message as a part of the right master narrative.

    17 – How to connect via Ethos, Pathos and Logos

    • Ethos or the intentions and competence of the speaker and empathy they have with their audience. (Me.)
    • Pathos or the feelings the speaker engenders in the audience. (You.)
    • Logos and the facts and evidence that will win the audience over. (Us)

    18 – What impact in terms of implementation across message, amplifiers and perseverance.


    You don’t have to remember all eighteen of these to thrive in 2018. Just remember to be brave like Samantha Ramirez Herrera and remember the core BRAVE framework. Start outside-in with the environment and work through the appropriate questions across values, attitudes, relationships and behaviors and you will make great progress in the right direction.

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