6 Steps To Leadership Courage

Leadership Courage

Courage defined:

cour·age [kur-ij, kuhr-]

1. The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. (dictionary.com)

What comes to mind when you think about these courageous acts:

No Fear Leadership

  • Speaking in public
  • Bungee jumping from a bridge
  • Skydiving from a plane
  • Wearing a bathing suit in public
  • Confronting a friend
  • Confronting a liar
  • Confronting a lying  friend, who happens to be your boss

Do you find yourself energized by the thought of having to perform these activities, or do you shutter with fear?

But what happens when you lack courage as a leader? In certain areas of leadership:

  • Are you a scared by things that make you uncomfortable?
  • Do you avoid things out of fear?
  • Are you someone who frightens easy when it comes to some specific topic or endeavor?

Leadership Fail

Feeling Odd at WorkMany young leaders and seasoned leaders alike find themselves in situations where they lack courage in doing something that their job or positions require. This could be reprimanding an employee, having to speak in front of a large group of people, having to prepare an employee review, or having to deal with uncomfortable or confrontational situations.

And with this fear or lack of courage for facing the uncomfortable task, negative things can come into play in the leaders behaviors. Inaction, poor decision-making, awkwardness, missteps, and worse can negatively impact you, your relationships, and your level of influence in future engagements.

Your Magic Wand

Fortunately, there is a way to overcome a lack of leadership courage. It works like a magic wand, but you have to add your own dose of magic dust to make your magic wand work properly for you.

Step 1

Identify and isolate your enemy.

Your enemy is fear. Google how to overcome fear and pick the formula that works for you.

Step 2

Look at the scary task objectively.

The task is rarely too large to overcome. Study the components that make up the task at hand. Write them in a list.

Step 3

Make a plan for accomplishing each task as a separate action.

This is like learning to play a musical instrument. Learn the notes first, then start assembling the notes into a simple tune. This means you need to study the steps to take on your objective and overcome them in your mind as single steps.

Step 4

Practice your steps in your mind and imagine accomplishing each step.

Repeat this until you have memorized what success looks like. Practice like it was your daily piano, sax, or Guitar Hero lessons until you have assembles your little symphony of success in your mind.

Step 5

Rehearse a scrimmage.

Set up mini-versions of what was your “big scary thing” and do a live run-through in “a safe environment” without keeping score. Do this until you get your butterflies to fly in formation.

Step 6

Wave your magic wand and get up on stage and win.

Keep score now if you want to. Do this because there is VERY GOOD chance that you will come out a winner. If you fall flat, get up and brush it off. You get double points for that. And the more double points you get, the quicker you win on bigger stages.

Winning is Fun

When you break down your fears into understandable and digestible components, you can easy conquer them. Accomplishing tasks on your own with diligence, perseverance, and enough practice produces confidence and real self-esteem.

When you have confidence and self-esteem from conquering those nasty gremlins in your life, you begin to thirst for more adventures in slaying those dragons of fearcowardice, and frailty that live in the castles of doom inside your head.

When your fear goes down, your results go up. It is the winning formula!

So what have you been plagued with that stunts your growth and efficacy in leadership realms? What is captivating your mind and overflowing your fear cup so much that you just can’t seem to get beyond it? What steps can you take to confront your fear and gain the courage you need to succeed in your role as a leader? I would love to hear of your challenges and successes!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Tom Schulte
Tom Schulte is Executive Director of Linked 2 Leadership
He provides leadership training fit for the Blackberry-Attention-Span
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4 responses to “6 Steps To Leadership Courage

  1. Love this! I believe that we need to learn to embrace our fear. Fear is a natural response to real and imagined circumstances in life. The key is differentiating the two, then looking fear in face to determine what lesson is to be learned, or what step of growth needs to be made.

    Your recommendations to use visualization to work past the fear is right on target.


    • Thank you Dr. Reece for your comment. I have found that only by facing my fear head on and by fighting though it have I been able to get past the “stupid” things that hold me back. I did this with social situations, a fear of heights, dating girls, playing sports, trying new foods, experimenting with new solutions, etc., and the payoff was ALWAYS there for me. I used those occasions as stepping stones for new “adventures” in my life. I taught this to my 5 kids who are all in college now and I see how brave and strong their foundations are. Many times we role played and visualized all possible outcomes until we had rehearsed it enough to move on. I use this in leadership and sales training and it is AMAZING how confidence builds and self-esteem grows organically. This stuff works!


  2. Pingback: 6 Steps To Leadership Courage (via Linked 2 Leadership) | البيجامة Elpijama·

  3. Pingback: 6 Steps To Leadership Courage (via Linked 2 Leadership) « Techie Notes·

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