The truth is, I have, over the course of my career, aspired to be a great leader. I’ve actively worked at it. I’ve wanted to be a leader who has courage, is trusted to take action – a pioneer who steps up to the plate when it counts. I strive to inspire confidence in others and have attempted (and mostly achieved) staying open to feedback and course correction, no matter what the source. Although there was that one time when my jerk of a boss…nah, I’m over it.
But seriously, what I know for sure is, having succeeded and failed many times over, that intrinsically, great leadership starts with courage.
I love what Aristotle said. He called courage “the first virtue,” because it makes all of the other virtues possible.
Courage it would seem, appears to be the clear starting point to becoming a better, more effective leader…it informs and strengthens all other leadership characteristics.
How many times have you wished the boss, or your company, would simply tell you the truth? You are not dumb. You can tell when something doesn’t smell right. In fact, if you are anything like me, you’d prefer to know exactly what is happening so you can help. Most humans like to help – even little kids are eager to help. When organizations (and worse, leaders) don’t tell the truth, things always go sideways. Always.
The good news is being more courageous is free. It’s easy. You can do it. You must do it.
Maybe you have already attempted “courage.” And maybe it didn’t go so well. Maybe it went spectacularly bad and you decided then and there never to do THAT again and to lay low. I have news for you: reclaiming your courage will set you free. It’s not a matter of WHETHER you can speak your mind, admit your mistakes, ask for help. It’s is HOW can I do these things without fear?
Or perhaps it’s just never been “you” to say what you really think or want or need. I have more news for you: it’s time. Try something for the first time – it’s so much easier than you think it’s going to be. Rely on someone else instead of doing it all yourself – they will feel the gratification of your appreciation and you will make their day. Speak up – and do it with purpose and clear intention. Don’t speak just to fill dead air. Do it to make things better and to advocate for yourself and your team. Every time we take just one of these steps, we gain more confidence. Until courageous becomes just who we are.
Our business is devoted to helping people and organizations be more courageous. The most important lesson we have learned is that the entire workforce wins when everyone shows up to work each day with more courage. With less fear and more courage, employees take on harder projects, deal better with change and speak up more willingly about important issues.
A beloved boss once told me, “I tend to choose collaborators that are more courageous than I. I think it’s good for me.”
Trust me, courageous employees try more, trust more and tell more. Ask yourself how much emphasis do you place on developing courage? In yourself? In others? It might just be the missing ingredient to greatness, or at the very least, unlock the great, courageous leader inside you. That’s the truth.
Want to learn more about how Good Trouble can help you? Check us out at www.thegoodtroublecompany.com, or follow us on Linked In: linkedin.com/company/thegoodtroubleco or twitter @_GoodTroubleCo.