The Courage to be Disliked

We’re almost three months into the new year, and we all have made choices about what kind of year we’ll have.  Perhaps you are powerfully choosing to be inquisitive this year?  I’m a strong believer that we can learn something from everything.   After coming off a year of authoring three books, I wanted to be more intentional with reading or, in my case, listening to more books.  

My fellow GSDer Bobbie Shrivastav suggested that we start a Women in Insurance Book Club where we select a book, read it, and discuss it in our private group, then broadcast a LinkedIn Live to share with our networks and community.  

Our first book was Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga.  

Our group asked: In your opinion, what is the courage to be disliked?

For me, it means two things: to live unapologetically your true authentic self and look at others as equals and comrades, not enemies.

As women in business, there is one school of thought that says we need to lift one another up, (#hypewomen), support each other, and advocate for each other because there is enough room for all of us.  However, the other school of thought says that because there are minimum opportunities on the executive team or in the boardroom, we must be highly competitive, tearing each other down, and even acting like enemies.  

Throughout my 20-year career, I have experienced both sides of this, and as someone who lives in the first school of thought, it can be shocking, disheartening, and frustrating because we are better than this.  If we come together, locking arms, encouraging and amplifying, we will be able to do so much more TOGETHER.  

Some other insights from our book club discussion around the courage to be disliked included the freedom of judgment of others, setting beautiful boundaries unapologetically, divorcing yourself from the things outside of your control, releasing the belief or teaching that you are responsible for the joy and happiness in others (especially in your family), and letting go of being a people pleaser.

What I will say about this book is that I enjoyed the respectful candor and discussion back and forth between the characters even when their viewpoints were not aligned.  Listening to it on Audible gave it that much more impact because there were three narrators, so you truly felt like you were part of the conversation.  This respectful candor and different points of view joined us in the book club discussion.  Some in our group didn’t agree with certain beliefs, and at times, that made the book difficult to continue, whereas others loved all of it.  Even with our different perspectives, we were able to view each other as equals, respecting everyone’s views, and having a kind approach to our discussion, even when we didn’t agree.

In this society, how often do we find ourselves in back-and-forth conversations with individuals where kindness, respect, and camaraderie do not prevail?  It’s important that we powerfully choose our beliefs and voice them, without fear.

One of the next questions was about how we apply this courage to be disliked in our lives.

For me, it’s forging your own path confidently.  How I approach most things doesn’t look or follow the traditional path and hasn’t done so for most of my life.  In my most recent memory, how I approached the writing and publishing of my three books has certainly been my own hybrid path and journey.  

I go back to one of my favorite movie scenes in Apollo 13 where Gene Kranz, the chief flight director played by Ed Harris, has just called a meeting, and he is trying to understand the capabilities of the systems they have. He says to the team: “I don’t care about what anything was DESIGNED to do; I care about what it CAN do.” Harris’s character dared to challenge the status quo and push the team to think outside of the box.  

Oftentimes, I ask the question of how this has typically or traditionally been done.  I ask that because 100% of the time I’m going to do it differently. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be my unapologetic, true authentic self.  

The final question I’ll share is what our favorite quote or section is in the book. For me it was the chapter around how to separate tasks, asking the question, “Whose task is this?”  

The question concerning how to successfully walk out our work-life-family integration is critical because if we don’t allow the task to be owned by the right person, we will have an intrusion of the task.  Intrusions to the tasks, whether by us intruding or being intruded on, will lead to interpersonal collision and conflict.

Think about the positive impact and change we could have on our lives if we slowed down to ask the question, “Whose task is this?”  How much more harmony would our lives have?  

If you are interested in this book, watch our LinkedIn Live.  

Interested in joining us for the next book? Reach out to Bobbie Shrivastav, and she will get you added in.