Many of us are familiar with the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. The lion is supposed to be the king of the beasts yet, this one, was always fearful. Its fear only disappeared when he drank the “magic liquid” provided by the wizard.
I can compare this to a leader that’s always fearful to accept their flaws and mistakes. And the fear only disappears when using the power of a title.
The fact is that leaders are called regularly to “Respond with Courage“. Mark Miller explains this concept with the following statements: “Courage is a response. When faced with a challenging or difficult situation the best leaders most often respond with courage; less mature leaders, or nonleaders often choose another path with less risk, less conflict, and less personal discomfort.”
Courage is not just found in the heroic actions of movies like 300 but also in the “small” things of daily living.
- Owning your mistakes.
- The sensitive conversation with the guy that likes to complain.
- Standing up for your values.
- Defending that team member that’s getting thrown under the bus.
- Stating your differing opinion in a meeting.
- Making unpopular decisions.
- Saying hello to the newly hired.
Personally, I have notice that courage comes from the actions I take to maintain integrity. In quest to do live what I preach, I must face many small challenges daily. The more am able to stick to my word in the small things, the easier it is to handle the big decisions. To me, courage is a muscle that I either use or lose.
Tips on Developing Courage?
- Define Your Values. The more you know about what you stand for, the easier it is to say yay or nay to something.
- Start small and often. What’s measured can be managed. Be aware of your decisions over small issues, the more you stick to your values the more confident you’ll become.
The next time fear pops up will you choose to be the king of the beasts or the cowardly lion?
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ― Nelson Mandela.