Courage – The Most Leadership Important Skill Needed in 2022
Challenging times calls for challenging leadership and an opportunity for you! Every day in some small way within your sphere of influence, you can go beyond your comfort zone, connect with an empowering team and lead to success. Today, consider what else you need to do to step up, lead with courage and become a future leader who will change the course of history for future generations.
Courage Characteristics ensure Success
AsımŞen, Kamil Erkan Kabak and GözdeYangınlar have studied “Courageous Leadership for the Twenty-First Century.” Their paper argues that the courageous leadership practices could make such changes for solving the current problems in the twenty-first century. The courageous leaders are brave, and they have heart, spirit and exceptional intellectual and emotional capacity to make drastic changes. They take risks to face and deal with difficult problems instead of overtaking them to move organizations and nations forward. They are creative so that they can make objective analysis, select the most effective strategies, motivate people at their maximum capacities and act under high uncertainties. Great courageous political leaders of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries such as Ataturk, Mao, Lenin, Castro, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and others made drastic changes. They solved many difficult problems through utilizing again some of those courage-related characteristics. Also, business leaders like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jorma Ollila and others used some of those courage-related characteristics for building new and successful business organizations.
In HBR Magazine, Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries shows “How to find and Practice Courage.” One of my former students, the CEO of a large, diversified industrial company recently sent me an email to say that he believed “the pandemic was the moment to show the people in the company that management really cared.” That was why, he told me, that in spite of the serious financial implications and the opposition of some of his key shareholders, he had made the decision not to furlough anybody and had asked his senior executives to take a reduction in salary, in exchange for shares that would be bought back at a later date by the company at the issue price. In addition, he had offered credit to all of his suppliers that were in trouble and, with the help of his top team, he also arranged an airlift of personal protective equipment for the hospitals closely located to the company’s main premises. He was very proud of the fact that in a few days the top executive team, supported by other employees of the company, had successfully raised a substantial amount of money for that purpose.
Over the 50-odd years that I have practiced as a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, and executive coach, I have found the following techniques especially useful in helping my patients and students find and practice their courage:
- Create scenarios
- Recognize the negativity bias
- Talk out the fear beneath
- Practice going out of your comfort zone
- Manage your body
- Recognize that you are not alone
The more we are able to face our fears, the more we will replace fear-based responses with courageous ones.
THE 7 LAWS OF COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP
I’ve put together these 7 Laws of Courageous Leadership to help you become the brave leader you dream of being! After all, it’s the bravest who make the most change! Take the opportunity to set an intention with one of these each week:
- Hold yourself (and others) accountable
- Practice Courageous Conversations
- Ask for detailed feedback
- Be open with your communication
- Don’t sugar-coat anything
- Be prepared to lead the way for change
- Follow your instincts
It’s time to truly be brave, and you can start by following these 7 Laws of Courageous Leadership. If you want to leave your mark, make a difference and inspire your team, take the first step on your journey to courageous leadership today – pick a law and get practising!
Cultivate Leadership Traits
Being a leader that is able to motivate and encourage others is not something that happens accidentally. And, recognising that 2020/21 has been very challenging, we need to look ahead to the future to ensure we have future leaders and generations who will lead with courage. Like any leadership skill, courage is something that is learned and refined over time and it should form part of a leader’s inventory. Having Courage Intelligence will meet that need! The Courage Intelligence Program will provide future focussed leaders with an opportunity to build your courage as a skill.
Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.