Got Courage, Courage to Act in Business– Transform, Innovate, Challenge, Push-Back, Move Forward: It’s State of Mind…

Courage is the nature of leadership in business– the courage to hear the distant drumbeat of change and run, not walk, toward it… Courage is defined in many dictionaries as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, difficulty… Courage is not acting in the absence of fear, but in spite of it…

The origin of the word ‘courage’ is from the Latin word ‘cor’ meaning ‘heart’, and it offers an image of people at their best. According to Jim Hightower; the opposite for courage is not cowardice, its conformity… even a dead fish can go with the flow… According to Sheila Johnson; a person who is courageous in business is one who can take a different road, be unique, a person with high standards and integrity who does not lose focus…

Courage in business leadership is expressed in many ways: It can be changing a vision, strategy, maintaining an ethical stance in the face of personal risks… Courage can be a key factor in driving out the fear that is prevalent in many companies. It can be about holding to a different strategic choice in the face of severe questioning from industry analysts and others… Courage for a business leader can be confronting employees directly affected by downsizing decisions and making yourself vulnerable to their criticisms and anger.

Courage is caring enough about your values that you uphold these in the face of risks… According to Lisa Lane Brown; when I talk about courage, I’m not talking about traditional ‘save a child from a burning building’,  I’m talking about the ‘courage to win’… the power to reverse learned helplessness, and take congruent action on your dreams despite fear, rejection, intimidation…

According to Nelson Mandela; I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear… Business leaders can foster courage in their organizations by modeling positive behavior and by praising-rewarding those employees who bring ‘issues’ to light…

Fostering small acts of courage can lead to more prudent risk-taking that may ultimately save the company from embarrassing ethical breaches… To make such decisions requires courage and without it enterprises could not exist… The time has come to reflect more maturely on all the qualities it takes to start and manage a successful enterprise; qualities that include; patience, prudence, determination, clear-headedness, flexibility, honesty– and mostly ‘courage’…

courage imagesCAJO53L2

In the article Courage in Leadership by Peter Voyer writes: Courage is a necessary trait of effective leadership. And, it’s hard to argue that other traits such as; integrity, honesty, altruism, communications skill and decisiveness are not qualities of a good leader. But, leaders could not display these traits if they didn’t have courage.

According to General George Patton; the most important quality of a good leader was a willingness to make decisions: This takes courage… It’s the strength of character to persist and hold on to ideas in the face of opposition. Here, I’m not restricting my treatment of courage as it relates to fear. It’s also about strength of character and devotion to causes and ideas, and to tell the boss what he/she does not want to hear, or reprimand an employee, or make unpopular decisions. Most of all, it takes courage to be a leader…

In the article Courage in the C-Suite by Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes: To ‘act’ requires courage. To innovate requires even more courage. Courage makes change possible. Intellectual courage is necessary to challenge conventional wisdom and imagine new possibilities. Leaders must refuse to accept limits or stop at imaginary  boundaries… In troubled companies, it’s a familiar pattern: Managers equivocate in response to a new initiative, observe struggles without helping, withhold resources, hedge bets, hoard information, go passive… I call such behavior the timidity of mediocrity…

Courage doesn’t imply absence of fear and most heroes are scared to death, but act anyway. Innovators know that they’re taking risks but that doesn’t mean being foolhardy… Courage comes from caring deeply about achieving a shared goal. When others are counting on you and backing you, and when you’re acting in the service of others rather than for personal glory, courageous deeds are easier. Courage has a collective component, even if manifested in individual actions…

aaa courage untitled

In the article Courage in Business by Edyta Pacuk writes: I find that without courage there is no movement. Without courage we cannot bring thought leadership, we cannot break paradigms, grow, change and challenge the status quo… According to Peter Drucker; whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. There is always an act of courage which is the magical ingredient that contributes to organizational success. Even if that courageous decision is not right, there are always major learning’s to be captured – and those learning’s can help the organization to (re)focus, (re)energize and ultimately (re)claim success…

Security is a myth. It doesn’t exist... Avoiding risk is no safer in the long run than facing it. However, many organizations promote risk taking but only if the outcome is safe, suggesting that; we need to innovate but we cannot fail… If we always try to make things perfect, without some risk, we will probably not accomplish much. Over-thinking and lacking courage to go without all the data may cause us to miss opportunities and finally settle with mediocre results…

Yet it’s important to remember that courageous in business does not mean lacking fear… And, we should fear the fearless leaders… To have courage is to be able to face fears; its how we overcome, persevere, stand behind ideas… Not because we seek security but because we are prudent in moving the business forward….

In the article Sustaining Courage by Monica C. Worline writes: Leaders who act with courage are not fearless. Fear can serve as a reminder to be mindful… The experience of courage in an organization produces feelings of inspiration that can change people’s sense of what is possible. Stories of courage often carry the same feelings of inspiration and expanded possibility, and finding, sharing, celebrating… visions of what is possible can sustain a sense of courageousness…

Action outside of usual bounds that serves the mission of the organization will inspire others… There is a difference between courage that inspires and heroics that violate connections between people and put integrity of the organization at risk… Aristotle taught that– courage is the balance between being overly afraid and overly confident…

Leaders who are sustaining courageousness in their organizations often will do things that build trust and respect; it brings the organization alive for people. An experience of extraordinary activity that serves the organization creates a visceral and sensual experience of the organization at its best, deepening people’s understanding and commitment to the mission and vision of the organization. Leaders who sustain courage in trying times share their successes and their heart breaks, conveying stories that bring the organization alive for its members…

courage Courage-Eric-Johnson

A leader’s story is a story of courage; without it– we won’t get started, we won’t take right actions– we live in fear of the consequences… Every day we face decisions that begin, interrupt or sustain our courageous-life pattern… It’s a vital character trait for a leader whether wearing combat boots or a business suit. To be a leader of character, you must develop the courage to act no matter what the actual or perceived risks may be: Leadership takes courage. Innovation involves creating ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas: Innovation takes courage…

Contrary to popular belief, courage is teachable and learnable skill, and most everyone has capacity to be courageous. Moreover, nearly all courageous acts represent one or more of these three types: 1) The courage of initiative and action– making first attempts, pursuing pioneering efforts and stepping up to the plate… 2) The courage of confidence in others–letting go of the need to control situations or outcomes, having faith in people and being open to new direction and change… 3) The courage of voice– raising difficult issues, providing tough constructive feedback and sharing unpopular opinions…

According to Winston Churchill; courage is what it takes to stand-up and speak; it’s what it takes to sit-down and listen. According to Susan Tardanico; demonstrating leadership courage– whether it’s having uncomfortable conversation, communicating when you don’t have all the answers, making a decision to move ahead– can be scary. Yet it’s precisely the kind of behavior that fosters trust and sets a crucial example for others to follow at a time when they’d rather hunker down and wait for the storm to pass...

People who move ahead welcome new ideas: They listen; they adapt; they are constantly learning and challenging themselves: Anything is possible… but you must be willing to get in the game, make mistakes, learn from them, and then move on– wiser and stronger… You cannot have success without failure: The two are inextricably linked. So if you’re afraid to act because you might make a mistake; stop and think again…

Roadblocks and setbacks provide us with the information we need to grow, change, and make a move in the right direction… After all, it’s through our failures that we gain experience. So move forward with courage and know that you are headed in the direction of success… Embrace the unknown… If you can learn to embrace the unknown, courage will follow. To find true courage, you have to be committed to finding it…

Don’t be afraid to try new things and take on unknown experiences… Let your conscience be your guide and roadmap. Take a stand against injustice and don’t let it derail your progress. Some of the most courageous people in the world have become just that because their conscience simply wouldn’t allow them to ignore what was happening around them…

Let fear-in and overcome it: Courage is not the absence of fear… true courage is feeling fear but doing what needs to be done anyway... Become an active participant in your life goals and business dreams, and most important; never give up! It takes both courage and determination to truly go after what you want, and take-do what may seem to be unattainable and make it attainable. If you’re feeling down or a business deal falls through; pick yourself-up and keep moving. Courage is not merely word; it’s state of mind…