Leadership in a word: Courage
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. - E. E. Cummings
Author Leo Buscaglia tells a story about his mother and their “misery dinner.” It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm’s funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that “the time for joy is now when we need it most, not next week.” Her courageous act rallied the family.
Courageous leadership is not a hard thing to summon when times are good. But it can be more challenging in the face of adversity. For you, as a leader, it can be a game changer. It can make the difference between success and failure.
Think for a moment about where you are in your leadership journey. In what areas do you need to be more courageous? What fear or attitude is holding you back? As you go into 2018, let me encourage you to find courage in three specific areas.
COURAGE TO RUN YOUR OWN RACE
Your leadership journey is just that - yours. Let 2018 be the year to once and for all stop measuring your value and worth up against someone else’s. Stop with the comparisons. Embrace your own worth, value, and God-given abilities and stop worrying about what other people say or think.
COURAGE TO BREAK NEW BARRIERS
Barriers to your leadership and how far you can go are not always defined by other people. Sometimes we are the ones holding ourselves back with our own limited thinking and attitudes. I’d like to challenge you this year to summon the courage to break new barriers and pursue your dreams. New opportunities are achieved and barriers are overcome by developing a courageous mindset and belief system.
COURAGE TO EMBRACE CHANGE
One of the keys to your success as a leader is to embrace the changes that will ultimately come your way. Find the courage to think differently when required, to change your perspective, and be open to new ideas. Values and principles are largely settled matters of leadership. Practices tend to be fluid and evolving. Your learning and application are constant. Summon the courage to embrace change.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction” - John F. Kennedy
“Jump and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall” - Ray Bradbury
“Courage is grace under fire” - Ernest Hemingway
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9 ESV
A FINAL WORD
As a leader in today’s world, you need courage. The courage you need to lead is gained with the confidence you have in yourself, with the people you surround yourself with, and your faith.
Let 2018 be your year for courageous leadership.
©2018 Doug Dickerson