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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

#9 Courage and Leadership

We are nearing the end of our 10 characteristics and Qualities of a Good Leader and this is a good one…. #9, Courage.

I will be bold in saying this may be the one characteristic that is a non-negotiable if you want to go from great to extraordinary. It is courage that separates the final few and will push you further than you can imagine.

First, let’s examine two categories of courage, inner and outer.

Inner courage:

This is the quiet way we approach individuals and challenges. It is having the humility to ask for feedback and leading through curiosity without knowing the answer. It is recognizing the landscape of organizations will change, so your knowledge will need to grow and evolve constantly. It is knowing your self-wroth yet simultaneously having the bravery to admit you do not know. It is declaring failure yet forging ahead despite the disappointment. To seek clarity and understanding rather than needing to be “right.”

Inner courage asks that you listen and seek opinions and advice even when you believe the answer is clear. It is listening to learn vs. listening to respond.

Outer courage:

This requires creating an environment of growth and exploration. It is taking the hit when failure arises and giving credit when success emerges. Surrounding yourself with people more intelligent and wiser than yourself because you care more about the team and the organization than you do about your ego.

Great courage requires you to see your team through the eyes of potential. Identifying areas of untapped possibility and mentoring and investing in the success of others. It is taking a calculated risk in the name of greater success because you believe so deeply in your team and the collective vision.

Brene Brown has built her platform on both courage and vulnerability. In her book Dare to Lead she outlines the four skill sets needed for courageous leadership.

  • Rumbling With Vulnerability.

  • Living Your Values (Rather Than Simply Professing Them)

  • Braving Trust (And Being The First To Trust)

  • Learning To Rise.

These distinct elements drive success and can be taught, developed, learned, and measured.

If you have not explored Brene’s work, I would encourage you to do so. She cuts through the excuses and speaks to the heart of the issue. Here is a 6-minute video to rev the engines of courage. You deserve to step into all that you have the potential to be.

As a leader, you are being watched, and what you do will be repeated (good and bad). Set the example of bravery, courageousness, and humility.

Leadership involves many learned skills, but without the courage to actualize them, you have mediocrity.

I believe everyone has the potential to be extraordinary, do you?

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