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Fear stops people from leading – fear of rejection, fear of failure and being too concerned with what other people think. Courage is an essential leadership trait to lead for growth.
Throughout the history of the world, most of the greatest achievements of the human race have been accomplished because a group or individuals have been able to look past their fears to see what “might be” if they have an almighty go at it. To name a few: Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to lead a team to climb to the top of Mount Everest, Abraham Lincoln leading the United States through the very bloody American Civil War (and in doing so, preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government and modernized the economy) and on a lighter, sporting note, Ben Lexcen’s victorious winged keel design for Australia’s entry into the 1983 Americas Cup. All faced their fear of failure, fear of humiliation if they didn’t succeed, faced the fear of those who opposed them and were eventually, after much labour and perseverance through great challenges, successful.
These leaders and all successful leaders of history (whether they are famous or not) have one thing in common – they capture the hearts and minds of the people they lead because of the Vision they have and their courage to achieve it. It inspires others to follow them. Courage is intoxicating.
If you truly want to be in the hearts and minds of the people you lead, your team requires you to have courage. They require you to face your fears.
What do you fear?
Are you in the hearts and minds of the people you lead?
Effective leaders are prepared to act on what they observe and discern. They are prepared to stimulate and agitate by saying publicly what most people will only discuss privately. Nelson Mandela is a very famous example of what can be achieved by having the courage to speak publicly about issues he vehemently opposed. Nelson Mandela abolished Apartheid and achieved equal rights for the black South Africans – a major milestone for the country – after spending 27 years in prison for opposing Apartheid.
Mr Mandela spoke out on a huge scale, but you can achieve the equivalent in your own workplace and team. You just need to get started.
What do you need to say publicly to get the team you lead to act with better behaviours?
It takes courage to initiate change.
How long are you going to wait to deal with your fear?
Leaders initiate momentum. If you want to create momentum then you have to accept there is a risk.
What are you prepared to do that you haven’t done before?
I failed my way to success. Thomas Edison.
Effective leaders deal with their fear and have the courage to seize the opportunity.
What opportunities do you have in front of you?
Where there is fear, there is opportunity.
It takes courage to face the truth head on and face the current reality in the present moment.
What is the reality for you in the present moment?
As a leader it’s necessary to face reality, no matter how disappointing it may be and this takes courage to accept the circumstances and initiate change.
It takes courage to ask the difficult questions about where you’re really at so you can bring about your own personal change and change within the people you lead, so that you can create positive inertia.
It takes courage:
1 To be the real deal
2 To not turn a blind eye to a situation that must be dealt with
3 To lead at arms length
4 To tell people the truth
5 To ignore criticism
6 To make the big decisions to initiate change
What are you afraid of?
Deal with it!!! You can do it.
It takes courage to lead but it takes more courage to seize the opportunity. If you wait to deal with your fear, this will put a lid on your leadership effectiveness.
When you lead people, it is more important you have courage than skill.
What do you need to have more courage about?
Deal with your fear. Seize the opportunities before you!
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. Ambrose Redmoon