Why Lead with Courage?

In today’s fast-paced, ultra-competitive, high-tech world of global business and instant gratification, many people get caught up in the need to be completely perfect and highly productive. As a result of their training or education, most people in positions of leadership and management are competent in their field, but too few have ever been trained, educated, or had sound experience in leadership.

True leadership requires courage in its application. Just because a person is in a position of leadership doesn’t mean he/she understands how to be a good leader. The feeling of bearing the responsibility for the accomplishment of the goals of one’s team without the capability to personally perform all of the tasks required can be daunting.

As a leader, you have the responsibility of accomplishing the job with your team, but you can not do the jobs of each of your team members. Your task is to use each team member in the best possible way to achieve the best performance and to orchestrate, motivate, and influence the entire team to achieve its best performance.

You may know how to do all of the individual tasks required of each of your team members, but they have to do them. It takes courage to support and guide the members of your team knowing that all failures are your responsibility.

Many leaders and managers assume that being a leader means that everyone else must serve the leaders needs and desires and carry out his or her orders, directives and programs. That may work in some situations; however, people don’t willingly, enthusiastically follow a poor leader (dictator).

People need understanding, guidance, clear communication, resources, support, training and motivation in an environment where they can be successful. These are the responsibility of the leader. It takes courage to give your team all of the above without being able to give up the responsibility.

“The buck stops here…” “Its lonely at the top…” are appropriate descriptions of a leader’s situation.

Courage is necessary to accept the awesome responsibility of leading people.

  • You must be willing to listen to the failures of your people, to handle the bad news and still keep the team on course.
  • You must stand up and speak out when you are right even though you may risk failure.
  • You must be courageous to accept challenges, risk and fail, and pick yourself up and go after the rest of the challenge.

Life is a contact sport. Only the competitive participants achieve true victory. Spectators in life are not leaders. Leaders must have courage to compete, meet challenges and succeed while guiding, supporting and influencing their teams to victory.