Our world has changed. Success today does not guarantee success tomorrow.
We have people burning out in cultures defined by fear, scarcity, and uncertainty. This is not sustainable. An organization can only be as strong on the outside as it is on the inside.
We need competent people with the courage to not shy away from these truths and with the heart to keep showing up day after day no matter how hard it gets.
In today’s world, leadership is not about command and control. It’s about finding the way through life’s complexities and challenges by trusting one’s self and their team despite all the unknowns.
Too often we reduce leadership to becoming successful and making it to the top. We need leaders who are brave enough to put service over self and have the capacity to choose courage over comfort.
Being a courageous leader means inspiring, motivating and guiding teams. Brave leaders recognize the wholeness of people and the potential in ideas and have the willingness to develop both.
Courageous leaders trust there is enough to go around and know that as a leader, it is part of their job to help develop up-and-coming leaders in heart, mind, and skill.
But first they must develop themselves. A leader can only give people what they have to give. A reflective practice is at the heart of self-awareness and the capability to to grow as a leader.
Courage comes from true self. True self knows best. It is a source of guidance and strength. Taking care of true self translates into better care for others. Courageous leaders lead from the inside out. As a leader does their outer work, so must they do their inner work.
Inner work depends on the strongest muscle in the human body – the heart. It also leads to becoming more authentic. Being authentic builds trust in one’s self and others.
Trust takes time to create. Trust is a key ingredient in courageous leadership. Trust is built in small moments and with a willingness to be vulnerable and take risks.
Most businesses operate on transactional trust without recognizing the value of relational trust. Transactional trust is trusting that others will do what they say they will do. Relational trust is a specific form of trust that comes out of interpersonal relationships. For example, trusting another person to listen without passing judgment.
On the whole, courage is contagious. The biggest thing leaders around the world can do to develop courageous leaders is to be a courageous leader themselves and make building relational trust a priority in their organization. Because when we trust each other to do the right thing, we trust that by working together we can make an important difference in the world.