Great leaders will embrace their pain. Great leaders know there will be danger ahead. Great leaders see challenges and run towards them.
Do you know what each of these traits have in common?
They are the epitome of a courageous leader.
What Is Courage?
Webster’s Dictionary defines courage as:
The ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous
Courage means you face the tough trials in life. When there’s pain, you embrace or face it. When there’s danger, you confront it. When you’re challenged, you don’t back down.
These actions are courageous.
They take chutzpah. They take guts. They forge ahead!
How To Become A Courageous Leader
I believe courage is an integral part of a leader. You can’t beat new paths or cast vision without a little bit of courage.
Telling your story or letting your team know where you want to go, you have to put yourself out there to do so.
It’s scary. It’s challenging. It’s dangerous.
It’s also what a leader does on a consistent basis.
But how can you become a courageous leader? Are there steps you can take?
1. Have a vision – There are those out there who think a courageous leader won’t have a vision. Rather, they’ll lead as the wind blows. They believe that’s courageous leadership.
It’s not. This type of leadership is the definition of insanity.
Leading in this manner will toss you to and fro. You’ll never have a clear sense of direction and your team will know it.
Instead, create a vision for your organization. Lay out the details and plot a course.
This takes courage because you’re committing to a course of action. You’re putting your foot down and saying “This is where I’m leading. Get on the train! We’re heading out!”
Not everyone will like this. Some will even say you don’t know what you’re doing.
Yet, if you have a clear vision for the future, you know where you’re going. http://bit.ly/1Tjjtae
2. Get ready to jump – I took my first skydive a couple of years ago. It was one of the highlights of my life.
Falling at 100+ MPH was invigorating. The wind was blowing and I was flying.
It was something I’d always wanted to do and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do so.
It was also one of the scariest moments of my life.
As the plan ascended to 10,000 feet, I began to second guess my decision to jump. All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind:
Will the plan make it?
Will the chute open?
Will I hit the plane?
You can guess what happened. I was able to safely exit the airplane and make a successful skydive.
When you make decisions in leadership, you’ll have to make a jump. You’ll have to decide whether or not to implement the next step or to scrap your projects. You’ll have to decide whether or not to hire the new candidate.
Everything is a jump in leadership.
You have the choice to say yes or no. Be courageous. Take the jump when it’s right and decide to stay in the plane when it’s not.
3. Speak up – Leaders have the responsibility to speak up when things aren’t right. They are in a position to voice an opposing viewpoint.
This takes courage.
Speaking up when others are in agreement but you see something wrong is challenging. It’s intimidating. And you might feel like you shouldn’t say anything.
However, courageous leaders know the truth. They know it’s their responsibility to voice dissension when it’s needed.
Don’t let the status quo keep you from speaking what is right. Be courageous and speak up.