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Leadership and Courage

Pesonal courage is necessary for a good leader. “It is the ability to act on the tough but necessary decisions guided by a moral compass that serves to benefit the team or stated goals.” – David Stricklin. Courage, both physically and mentally, is necessary for a leader to be successful.

Show a willingness to take risks, act on your intuition and demonstrate responsibility for your actions.

You must stand up for what is right. You must look for accountability and demand it from your employees and yourself. Do what is right; don’t just go through the motions. A successful and courageous leader is not a yes person. Work on projects can be delegated, but the responsibility stays with the leader. Be responsible for your actions.

7 Traits of a Courageous Leader

  • Stay with the team. Don’t bail out when things are tough.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask others to do big things, but be willing to pull your weight.

  • Take risks and move into unchartered territory. Check out new ideas; don’t be afraid to try something different.

  • Have faith even when you are not sure of the outcome.

  • Make the hard decisions regarding people. Trust others to take responsibility for themselves. Acknowledge when a team member is no longer good for the team.

For one of my clients it became abundantly clear that one of the members of a sales team was not pulling their weight. The leader had covered up for this salesperson for months, but now it was time to make the hard decision to let the salesperson go. To make matters more challenging, the salesperson was one of the leader’s best friends. However, it was for the good of the team that the decision be made. The trigger was pulled; the salesperson let go, and there were hard feelings to get through. A new hire was brought into the group, and this hire has proven to be energetic, follows though and is good at the job. The employee? They found a job at another company that provided an opportunity to branch into another field. The decision was best for everyone concerned.

  • A courageous leader protects the vision of the team even when there is high criticism; times are difficult, and setbacks are probable.

  • Even if changes are uncomfortable or not popular, a leader who has the courage will make those changes and give the team the explanation why the changes were made.

Today’s economic times and difficult employment calls for confident, bold and courageous leadership. Leaders must have the guts to step forward, take risks and instigate change during downturns. This is the way to create a winner as the economy builds back up.

Demonstrating leadership courage means having uncomfortable conversations, discussing with employees even when you don’t have all the answers, or making hard decisions to move ahead on a new project when the outcome is not totally certain. Courageous leadership brings on trust and sets an example for others to follow. Confront reality head-on, seek feedback, listen, and say what needs to be said plus encourage opinions and push-back.

“The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid,” ― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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