Why is 'courage' so essential to great leadership?


As we understand more and more about what it takes to be a good leader, we are recognising that the golden thread running through the various qualities, skills and competencies is 'courage'.

The courage it takes to be authentic and to set an example by being who we really are, so that the organisation can reap the benefits of a diverse workplace. The benefits of having a team who recognise and are comfortable in the unique contribution they make, rather than burning out trying to be someone they're not.

The courage to be vulnerable and admit failure.

Recent research into one of the more negative impacts of the “look at my perfect life” culture of social media is that children don’t ask questions in class for fear of being seen not to know the answer and so, worryingly, are losing the ability to develop and learn. (Apparently James Dyson took over 3500 attempts to perfect the bagless vacuum!).

There’s a saying doing the rounds that goes:

“the more you do the more you fail, the more you fail the more you learn, the more you learn the more you grow”

... which all makes good sense, although admitting failure, especially when we are a leader, takes courage.

The courage to decide what we need to do and to do it, rather than being driven by the external demands made on our time. As we grasp the reality that there is just too much to do, time management becomes more and more relevant and we need to take control and responsibility for deciding how best to allocate our time. We need to be decisive and proactive and not allow others to decide our priorities for us by simply responding to their demands.

The courage to prioritise and invest in ourselves by setting aside time to reflect, to learn, to readjust and to evaluate our impact and whether we are aligned with our purpose and what matters to us.

Perhaps most importantly of all, we need the courage to be compassionate, to be in touch with what makes us human and to see and treat others as human by doing what we instinctively know is right.

So, if you want to be that great leader, pull on your brave pants or knickers and be courageous!

For help developing leadership skills and behaviours (including courage) take a look at the links below:

Alternatively, call our team on 01392 409 198 to find out what options might be right for you.

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