Birmingham Organizational Psychologist McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work



Based on the research of Brené Brown 
This quote from Dr. Brené Brown speaks directly to the concept of being Human at Work®.  Our ability to be self aware, compassionate, creative, innovative and connected to one another all spring from recognizing, valuing and embracing our own and others' humanity.  We know that these human characteristics are absolutely essential in the workplace. 
"Who we are is how we lead." - Brené Brown.

Dr. Brené Brown has spent 20 years studying daring leadership.  Her research includes more than 400,000 pieces of data, experiences inside of hundreds of organizations, and interviews with 150 global C-level leaders on the future of leadership. The research indicates that the demands on leaders today are very different than they were 10-15 years ago. 


Leaders today are called to:

  • manage uncertainty and complexity, 

  • navigate the unrelenting pace of change,

  • meet an insatiable need for innovation,

  • stay grounded with seemingly unmanageable changes,

constantly shifting goals and expectations, and

  • lead people through discomfort. 


What is needed now is more courageous leadership.  Leaders who are willing to make tough decisions and have difficult conversations.

Based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, Dare to Lead is an empirically based
courage-building program designed to be facilitated by organizational development

Brené is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the
Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social
Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and
empathy, and most recently completed a seven-year study on courageous leadership. She
is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring
Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness,
and Dare to Lead, which also debuted
at #1 on The Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly lists.

The most significant finding from Brené’s latest research is that courage is a collection of
four skill sets that are teachable, measurable, and observable. Certified Dare to Lead

Facilitators focus on developing these courage-building skills through workshops,
trainings, and coaching to help individuals, teams, and organizations move from armored
leadership to daring leadership.

Certified facilitators are authorized to issue Dare to Lead Trained certificates to
individuals who successfully complete the full 16-hour training. In addition to receiving
a certificate of completion, these individuals are allowed to put a Dare to Lead
badge on their LinkedIn account.

Further information is available at




  • Rumbling with Vulnerabiltity

Vulnerability is the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.  Many of us were taught that vulnerability is weakness.

Vulnerability is absolutely required to be a courageous leader (and human).  It's the willingness to show up and be seen when we don't know the outcome.  Participants will learn how to rumble with vulnerability, earning grounded confidence and courage.

  • Living Into Our Values

Values are the beliefs that are most important to us, that help us find our way in the dark, and fill us with a feeling of purpose.

Since we know it's easier to talk about values than to live them, participants will both identify guiding values and clearly identify the behaviors that are required to live them.

  • Braving Trust

Trust is a learned skill and is the culmination of seven essential elements: boundaries, reliability, accountability, vault, integrity, non-judgment and generosity.

Participants will practice a framework for building trust with themselves and learn to use that framework to guide (hard) conversations with others.

  • Learning To Rise

Learning to rise requires recognizing that, as leaders, we are also human.  We can get hooked by emotion and inadvertently offload hurt, anger or anxiety.  The way we deal with our emotions can quickly derail effective leadership.

Participants will learn how to own their stories, deal with the emotions attached to them, and learn how to rise as a function of our struggles.

  • Customized Workshops

Customized workshops based on the Dare to Lead™ curriculum allow us to tailor a program to meet a specific client's needs.  Some clients use a workshop to pilot the larger Dare to Lead™ program.  Shorter workshops may also be integrated into ongoing, existing leadership development programs that a company already has in place.

  • Two - day Open Enrollment Workshops

Guide up to 16 leaders through the Dare to Lead™ curriculum which includes interactive exercises, vibrant, in-depth discussion, and key insights from Brené Brown's research.  Our goal with open enrollment workshops is to provide the Dare to Lead™ curriculum to individuals who do not have access to it at their organization.

Join the next two-day Open Enrollment WorkshopLearn more...

McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work, is a certified WBENC Women's Business Enterprise.
McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work, is a certified WBENC Women's Business Enterprise.