Wanted: Courageous Leaders

We Lack Courageous Leaders In Business Today

So what defines a courageous leader, and how do we know if we are courageous? Leadership courage is best defined as the ability of a leader to act boldly, decisively, and ethically in the face of challenges, uncertainty, and adversity. It involves taking calculated risks, making difficult decisions, and standing up for what is right, even when it may be unpopular or uncomfortable.

Too many people take on or are promoted into leadership positions who have either;

1) never seen this definition, or

2) they have seen it but completely misunderstood its meaning.

Wannabe leaders are more focused on the rewards aspect of what attaining a leadership role will get them. Research from The Table Group has shown that over 50% of all leaders are in their position for the benefits (and rewards) it provides and not for serving the needs of others and the organization.

It’s important to note here that accruing the benefits and rewards of leadership is not a negative. They are given for a reason, and true leaders should be proud of having attained them. These only become troublesome when they are the sole focus and motivation for why someone leads.

This is why being courageous as a leader is so critical to organizational success.

Try This Recipe for Courage

Leading others at work is hard. This is why a large dose of courage is required to do it well.

It takes a combination of special ingredients: confidence, integrity, resilience, and a willingness to confront and overcome obstacles to achieve positive outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations. It is about you being convinced to pursue a vision, inspire others, and navigate uncharted territory, thereby driving meaningful change and growth in your personal and professional lives.

Becoming a courageous leader does not happen overnight as it must be learned through experience and trial, the people we lead, and the circumstances that confront us daily.

Learning to be a courageous leader is a gradual process involving personal growth, experiences, and intentional development.

Practical Ways To Learn To Be Courageous

Because our courage is not always evident to us, here are some proven recommendations you can trust:

  1. Self-reflection and awareness: Developing courage starts with self-reflection and understanding your fears, limitations, and areas where you need to be more courageous. This introspection allows you to identify the specific areas or situations where you may struggle with courage.
  2. Embrace discomfort and take calculated risks: Courage often requires stepping outside your comfort zone. Seek opportunities that challenge you and push you to face your fears. Taking calculated risks allows you to grow and learn from successes and failures, contributing to your overall leadership courage.
  3. Learn from role models: Study and observe courageous leaders who inspire you. Analyze their actions, decision-making processes, and the principles that guide their behavior. Look for role models who have demonstrated courage in adversity, and learn from their experiences and strategies.
  4. Seek feedback and support: Whenever possible, get feedback from colleagues, mentors, and trusted individuals (loving critics) in your network. Their perspectives can help you identify blind spots, provide constructive criticism, and offer guidance on developing courage in specific areas. Surround yourself with a supportive network that encourages and challenges you to be courageous.
  5. Develop resilience: Courage often requires resilience to bounce back from setbacks and persevere when facing challenges. Cultivate resilience by adopting a growth mindset, reframing failures as learning opportunities, and developing strategies to cope with stress and adversity. Engage in activities that enhance mental and emotional well-being, such as mindfulness practices, exercise, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  6. Practice decisive action: Courageous leadership involves making difficult decisions and taking action even when faced with uncertainty or opposition. Practice making decisions promptly and confidently, considering available information, and seeking input from relevant stakeholders for additional guidance. Embrace the responsibility that comes with your leadership position, and trust your judgment.
  7. Build a courageous culture: As a leader, you have the power to shape the culture of your organization or team. Encourage open communication, empower others to voice their opinions, and create an environment where calculated risk-taking is rewarded. By fostering a courageous culture, you can inspire and support others to do the same.

Developing Courage Never Ends

When you learn and apply, these recommendations will set you on a path to developing your courage. Remember that developing courage is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and practice. With time and experience, you will cultivate greater courage and be more equipped to tackle challenges, inspire others, and confidently lead.

Wrapping This Up

So, circling back to how we began, let’s ask, “Why do we lack courageous leaders?” Here’s a famous quote, original author unknown, that indicates why we have a separation between reward-centered leaders and leaders willing to serve others.

“Great leaders don’t set out to be a great leaders. They set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role; it’s always about the goal.”

We need courageous leaders today, and we need them badly.

Apply within.

More Blogs

This will close in 20 seconds