Have you ever watched a child going off the diving board for the first time?
She approaches and then scurries back; then she tries again. Slowly, she works a bit closer to the edge. And, finally, she takes that brave step out into the air and … splash!
We remember that moment for ourselves, most of us. And what do we remember doing next? Scrambling out of the pool, running back to the diving board, cutting in line and jumping again with no hesitation because we know, now, that we can do it. We’ve passed the test and shown our personal courage.
Leaders Inspire Courage
How do we model that behavior as leaders, though? Leaders should model embracing the uncomfortable, trying new things, and constantly working on themselves. Leaders should demonstrate what risk-taking looks like if they want others to model it.
And how do we inspire it in others? It’s one thing to say, “I’m ready to dive into the deep end!” and then another to encourage it. What if it’s someone else on your team who needs to take that step into uncertainty? As leaders, we can create teams and organizations that respect and motivate courage. Or we can create an environment where people fear failure more than they value the rewards of courage.
Personal bravery is important. But for leaders, inspiring bold, audacious teams takes courage to a whole other level. Does your organization inspire courage? Or are you creating timid teams, more afraid of failure than achieving real success?
Do you have the courage it takes to be a leader that inspires courage in others? Listen and find out.
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