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.
“Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can’t practice any other virtue with consistency.” -Maya Angelou
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.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
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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“Telling someone on your team, ‘I think you can do this,’ is an opportunity to inspire courage.” -Drew Bordas
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” -Coco Chanel
“At its core, leadership is a daily, ongoing practice, a journey toward becoming your best self and inviting others to do the same. And at the heart of this daily practice is courage.” -Shelly Francis
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” -J.K. Rowling
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” –Audre Lorde