I am sure most leaders out there know courage. Whenever, where ever one sees significant progress in an organization… it is simply because the leader made courageous decisions. Usually when you see indecision, or an organization floundering… it is the opposite: a leader or leaders standing in fear of making a decision. We have all seen the non-decision, decision (or the decision non-decision)….usually this is indicative of a leader locked in fear. It is clear, a leadership position does not give a person courage, but courage can indeed lead a person to a position of leadership. Remember….your life expands and/or contracts in proportion to your courage.
Just wanted to offer a couple courage quotes to ponder:
“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities . . . because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” — Winston Churchill
“The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you ever were before. If you can live through that you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, `I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt “You Learn By Living” (1960)
“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” — Tacitus
“Only be you strong, and very courageous, then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” — Joshua 1:7-8
“There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.” — Seneca
“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” — Eddie Rickenbacker
“The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” — Aristotle
“Whatever your sex or position, life is a battle in which you are to show your pluck, and woe be to the coward. Whether passed on a bed of sickness or a tented field, it is ever the same fair play and admits no foolish distinction. Despair and postponement are cowardice and defeat. Men were born to succeed, not to fail.” — Henry David Thoreau
“One man with courage makes a majority.” — Andrew Jackson
“Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.” — Charles Swindoll
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” — Babe Ruth
“No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.” — Admiral Horatio Nelson
“[Admiral Nelson’s counsel] guided me time and again. On the eve of the critical battle of Santa Cruz, in which the Japanese ships outnumbered ours more than two to one, I sent my task force commanders this dispatch: ATTACK REPEAT ATTACK. They did attack, heroically, and when the battle was done, the enemy turned away.
All problems, personal, national, or combat, become smaller if you don’t dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble. Carry the battle to the enemy! Lay your ship alongside his!” — Admiral William “Bull” Halsey
“Come to the edge, He said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came. He pushed them,
And they flew . . .” — Guillaume Apollinaire
“Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.” — Karl von Clausewitz
“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” — General George S. Patton
“To see what is right and not do it, is the want of courage.” — Confucius
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.” — Mark Twain
“Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.” — John Wayne
“Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
“Okay…the way this is going to work out…when this is over, we are going to be considered really brave…or really, really stupid…” –Maj J.W. DeMarco to crew somewhere over Kandahar, Afghanistan, Oct 2001