Lead with Courage

Courage Way

Lead with Courage


Leaders must regularly reach inside and draw courage to accomplish difficult goals. Leadership is a daily practice to become your best self and help others along the way.

So explains Shelly Francis in her new book, The Courage Way: Leading and Living with Integrity . Shelly has plenty of experience in her methods having served as the marketing and communications director at the Center for Courage & Renewal since 2012. The Center has over 5,000 participants in their programs each year.

I recently asked Shelly to share her views on courage and leadership.


“People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day to day. These decisions take courage.” -Rollo May


5 Types of Courage

You talk about different types of courage. Why is courage at work so vitally important?

The five types of courage I describe include physical, moral, social, creative, and collective courage. The first four were named by psychologist Rollo May in his 1974 book, The Courage to Create. Even without more detail, I bet you can begin to imagine a workplace situation calling for each type of courage.

So many hours of our days are spent in the workplace—and we want those hours to matter, and we want to find meaning and purpose in our work. That trend manifests itself in each of the types of courage described in the book.

It takes physical courage to set healthy boundaries and practices for sustaining your energy rather than succumbing to burnout and overwork. In doing so, though, you risk being seen as weak or uncommitted.

It takes moral courage to speak truth to power, like we’re seeing with people sharing their stories of sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace, or reporting unfair business practices. But again, you risk losing your job, your privacy, retaliation, and so on.

It takes social courage to show up with your whole self, to risk sharing your best ideas, to risk being wrong, to be vulnerable and honest about acknowledging your limitations, or to risk asking for help (like you did in a recent blog, Skip).

It takes courage to be innovative in the commonly used sense of “creative,” the courage to risk and fail and try again. But what about the courage to create a culture where people can truly flourish? Yet again, to go against the status quo and try new ways of “being and doing” at work can be risky.

Collective courage is what we need most—people working together with integrity, commitment, and a capacity to cross lines of difference. Without such courage, we risk complex, volatile issues getting even worse. We risk missing a chance to make things better.


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.


5 Ingredients of the Courage Way

31 Forgiveness Quotes to Inspire Us to Let It Go

Let It Go

Learning to say I am sorry is more difficult for some of us than others. I’ve learned that the art of the apology is not as straightforward as you would think.

On the other side of the apology is the forgiver. That can be just as difficult to master. Truly forgiving isn’t just uttering a few words and moving on. We often hold on to the events, the past, the words long into the future. And they drag us down.

One of a leader’s most powerful attributes is the ability to forgive. Forgiveness can be a powerful opportunity for reconnection both with the offender and with ourselves. Learning to forgive can help a person move forward in life rather than becoming a roadblock to success.

Here are a few quotes on forgiveness to inspire you:


Forgiveness Quotes

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” –Mahatma Gandhi


“Forgiving what we cannot forgive creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” –Lewis Smedes


“When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” –Nelson Mandela


“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” –Alexander Pope


“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” –Hannah Arendt

12 Ideas to Boost Your Happiness


Want to be happier?  Try these 12 steps and move in the right direction.




Look for opportunities to compliment others today everywhere you go.  Be genuine and sincere.  No sarcasm.  Write a thank you note.

“Thank you for checking me out so quickly.”

“I appreciate your attention to detail.”

“Your children are very well behaved.”




Studies show that nothing raises happiness more than helping others in need.  If you can volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter, or nursing home, you will be happier.  Almost any act of helping others in need will boost your happiness.  And it’s not just volunteer activities.  Try holding open a door for someone; shoveling a neighbor’s walk; letting someone pull in front of you in traffic.  Put others before yourself.




Slow down and listen.  Really listen and connect.  There’s something magical when you understand someone’s views.




Find someone to express your love and gratitude.  Happiness always goes up in the presence of those we love.




Start something new and exciting.  When your brain is learning and your body is moving, you will be engaged and create good feelings.




Countless studies show the benefits of exercise.  It can get you out of a rut and boost chemicals in your brain to make you happier.




The opposite of starting is accomplishing.  When you are crossing off important “to do” items, it will increase your satisfaction.