Being Courageous … Leaders who can see a better future, and have the guts to make it happen

February 3, 2019

To lead effectively — really, to live effectively — you must be confident in yourself, connected to others, committed to purpose, and emotionally courageous.

Peter Bregman argues that most of us are great at only one of the four. Maybe two. But to be a powerful presence — to inspire action — you need to excel at all four simultaneously.

If you’re confident in yourself but disconnected from others, everything will be about you and you’ll alienate the people around you.

If you’re connected to others but lack confidence in yourself, you will betray your own needs and perspectives in order to please everyone else.

If you’re not committed to a purpose, something bigger than yourself and others, you’ll flounder, losing the respect of those around you as you act aimlessly, failing to make an impact on what matters most.

And if you fail to act powerfully, decisively, and boldly — with emotional courage — your ideas will remain idle thoughts and your goals will remain unfulfilled fantasies.

WeWork’s 3 buckets of courage

WeWork says courageous leadership is what every employee hopes for and what every company needs.

A courageous leader guides their staff without stamping out creativity, they lead by example, and they stand at the helm of the company, giving everyone behind them confidence to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

There are three main types of courage when it comes to courageous leadership in the workplace:

  • Try Courage: Try courage is the courage required to take the first step in something. If you are doing something for the first time, that takes courage. You might fail, you might get it wrong, or you might do something completely incredible.
  • Trust Courage: This is the type of courage required to relinquish control. As a leader, you will need this courage in order to delegate to your employees, to give over control to staff, and to show your team that you trust them. This type of trust not only shows your staff that you trust them, but also that they can trust you not to micromanage their work.
  • Tell Courage: Tell courage is the courage you need to speak openly and with conviction about your beliefs and ideas. Often, doing this can be very scary, especially in a business setting. Courageous leadership means providing your team with positive and constructive feedback on a regular basis, even if what you have to say is going to make someone feel uncomfortable.

The Brave Ones

CNBC recently broadcast a series of documentaries about courageous leaders, people who dared to go further, rise higher, to challenge and change the future.

Here are some of them:

Bernard Arnault is France’s richest man and the mastermind behind the world’s biggest luxury group, LVMH. But even he had his doubters early on.

Hugh Evans wants to end extreme poverty. So he brought together the world’s biggest music artists for the Global Citizen Festival – and in just a few years, it’s spurred actions that will improve the lives of a billion people by 2030.

Tan Le is merging the human brain with technology and blurring the line between science fiction and reality. But before changing other people’s lives, she had to change her own.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is taking the tech world by storm. But he doesn’t just want to change the rules, he wants a whole new game.

Jack Ma may be one of China’s biggest success stories now – but he started from humble beginnings.

Taking a trip to Argentina inspired TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie to start a business that would help others as well as make money. Now he wants to give other entrepreneurs the same opportunity.

Here’s why Chandrika Tandon went on a hunger strike in her teens.

Sebastian Thrun. A true innovator, this tech wizard used to head up Google X and hold a tenured teaching position at Stanford University. However, he walked away from it all and is now on a mission to change the way the world learns.

Zhang Xin is a self-made property magnate. Born during China’s repressive Cultural Revolution, Xin has become China’s architect of change by reinventing the skylines of Beijing and Shanghai, building by building. Now she wants to inspire others to think big and get creative.

 

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