How To Become A More Courageous Leader

Leaders aren’t meant to be timid. They can’t run and hide from their problems or the problems of their teams. Leaders need to be courageous. They have to show courage in times of struggle.

You may feel like a little church mouse, tip-toeing and avoiding the challenges of your day. Or you may feel like you can take on the world. Whether you feel like the church mouse or the big, bad leader ready to go, every leader can use a little more courage. You can become a more courageous leader.

Man in a white tank top on a rope swing over water

Photo by Austin Distel

Becoming a more courageous leader takes courage. It also takes intentionality. You have to be willing to grow, stretch, and build upon what you’ve already built. You can do it.

In this article, we’ll look at 4 ways you can become more courageous.

Are You Ignoring Your Superpower?

Before I start this post, I want to say happy birthday to my beautiful bride. She turned 24 again for the umpteenth time yesterday. She’s a pillar of love and strength in our home. I love her more than I could ever convey.

And, if you think this is a strange way to start a post about superpowers, keep reading. I think it will make sense.

When you think of a leader’s superpower, what do you think of? Do you think of:

  • His charisma?
  • Her charm?
  • His ability to calm a room?
  • Her ability to “see” into the future?
  • His way with words?
  • Her ability to meet people where they’re at?
Action figure of Superman flying through the sky

Photo by Yogi Purnama

Those are all great superpowers of leaders. These superpowers will move you forward and keep you moving forward.

What Doesn’t Matter In A Crisis

There are so many things we think matter that don’t. We discover what truly matters in a crisis.

I hope you’re discovering what matters and what doesn’t matter throughout this crisis. I have.

iPhone on a red background

Photo by Brian McGowan

You may be shocked at what I’m about to share. These may seem like things that should matter. In the end, they really don’t.

These are vanity metrics. Things we want to matter. Things we think should matter. But they don’t.

What Doesn’t Matter In A Crisis

We can’t get caught up in things that don’t matter. Especially during a crisis. Yet it’s a common pitfall for leaders.

We find ourselves staring at or propping up all sorts of vanity. All sorts of things that don’t matter.

Things like:

Titles –

We love our titles. I’ve seen titles ranging from Vice President Of Sales And Operational Excellence to Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence.

How To Determine If A Crisis Is Really A Crisis

As the COVID-19 crisis hit the world, very few leaders thought this viral outbreak would be as big as it is. Many leaders thought it would come and go.

COVID-19 hasn’t come and gone. It’s left businesses, non-profits, and families in ruins.

Not all crises are the same. Not all crises demand economies be shut down or economies ruined. Some you can get through battered and bruised but none-the-worse. Others, like COVID-19, demanded a sterner approach. One that has hurt many people. An approach that continues to hurt people.

Boy with a mask and backpack on walking through a field

Photo via Jan Kopriva

But how do we decide if a crisis is really a crisis or a momentary blip on the radar? How do we know whether to react swiftly or to drift through a crisis?

These are tough decisions to make. You make the wrong one and your organization could be underwater.

Why Many Leaders Failed To Prepare For The COVID-19 Crisis

We never know when a crisis will hit. Something that will rock us to the core. Something that may even shutter the doors of our organization.

COVID-19 showed us how ill-prepared many businesses were when it comes to a time of crisis.

Woman looking down in a black and white photo

Photo by Ewelina Karezona Karbowiak

During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen business leaders scramble to create a plan. To save their businesses. To help their team members.

There was no crisis plan in place. There was nothing to help leaders navigate through the coming crisis. For many, the crisis blindsided them.

The question that now has to be asked is: Why did so many leaders fail to prepare for the COVID-19 (or any) crisis?

Why Many Leaders Failed To Prepare For The COVID-19 Crisis

I’ve sought out the answer to this question. I’ve studied what other leaders have said about preparing for crisis. And I’ve asked those I respect their opinion on this topic.