Throughout history—there has always been a link between leadership and courage. I know it might sound obvious, but have you ever worked for a leader that was a coward? How did that go? Its also easy to sit here at our computers and think—well, not me—I’m very brave.
Years ago I was training in martial arts—I might have had a bit of an arrogant attitude, and our Master approached me—he was born and raised in South Korea and had been training since the age of 3. He explained to me that I might think I am good, but there is always someone bigger and badder out there—funny at the next tournament, I met that guy and he destroyed me. BUT, my point is as brave as we might think we are—there is always someone more courageous. AND—we all have a lot to learn.
We can all make small decisions that are difficult. But, with each one, we gain more confidence and more courage, and we begin to change. The process is not quick, it is not easy, but if it were—it would not take courage—and through it all—we will learn many valuable lessons. I was reading through some John Maxwell material the other day and he has these 10 steps that can help us all grow in courageous leadership.
Maxwell’s Courageous Leadership:
- Convictions that are stronger than my fears.
- Vision that is clearer than my doubts.
- Spiritual sensitivity that is louder than popular opinion.
- Self-esteem that is deeper than self-protection.
- Appreciation for discipline that is greater than my desire for leisure.
- Dissatisfaction that is more forceful than the status quo.
- Poise that is more unshakeable than panic.
- Risk taking that is stronger than safety seeking.
- Right actions that are more robust than rationalization.
- A desire to see potential reached more than to see people appeased.
We don’t have to be great to become a person of courage. We just need to want to reach our potential and to be willing to trade what seems good in the moment for what’s best for our potential. That’s something we can do regardless of our level of natural talent.