Many people still have an outdated idea of what “courage” looks like as a leader.
Some of the “old school” ideas of courage include being a “tough guy” (and they mean it in a masculine way) who takes lots of risks, has all the answers, and pursues HIS plan no matter what.
Fortunately, more updated ideas of “courage” are emerging – and some of them are discussed in a recent Harvard Business Review article:
*Openness and Humility. Courageous leaders don’t have to be right all of the time. They are open to the views of others and can admit when they are wrong. They can actually apologize. Thinking you are right all of the time is actually dangerous.
*Put Principles First. Courageous leaders know that they are not in a popularity contest and don’t try to make everyone happy – as their top goal. They seek the “right thing” to do for the good of the organization and according to their values.
*Make the Workplace Safe for All. Courageous leaders encourage others on their team to do the “right thing” as well. And they provide support and cover if their team gets push back.
Courageous leaders surround themselves with people who will challenge them, rather than hiring the stereotypical “yes man.” They Voice Their Values and encourage others to do the same.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Detert, J. R. “What Courageous Leaders Do Differently,” Harvard Business Review online, January 7, 2022.