It’s probably fair to say that when you accepted the role as leader, you were not affirming that you possessed the powers and ability of Superman. However, one thing that our superhero does have bags of is courage.
Aristotle called courage the first virtue, because it makes all the other virtues possible and whilst that may sound ideal, courage will mean different things to different people especially when working globally with diverse teams.
Couple this complexity with increasing stresses of workload, people issues, lack of job security, juggling work and personal lives you’ve got an impressive recipe for turning down the courage dial in favour of an easier way.
The definition of courage in the Cambridge English dictionary is: “the ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation”
Showing courage doesn’t have to mean displaying a lack of respect or venturing in to conflict. If anything, it will start to see conflict that already exists being smoothed over and it starts with clarity.
1. Ask questions – Stephen Covey’s habit #5 from his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People plays a crucial role here “Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood” by seeking clarity around some of the tasks you are being asked to deliver will demonstrate that you are taking ownership of the role with a desire to deliver 100% and more importantly, you will be able to communicate the purpose of why your team are doing what they are doing.
2. Stop Reacting and Start Responding – It’s easy to react to situations especially when we are moving so fast to keep up with the pace of the business. The downside to this is that we will often react in the same way to similar situations and our default reaction is not always the most effective solution. When we slow down and recognise what is going on, we can then start to surface from our automated driver of the sub-conscious mind to evaluate the situation at a conscious level and respond appropriately for far more effective outcomes.
3. Say No to Wasteful Efforts – Trusting our intuition serves us well and providing we do so in a respectful and constructive way where we can demonstrate a strong business case to support our resistance, we will often smell victory.
Just yesterday, one of my clients was in a spin regarding internal miscommunications and was in fear of what might happen if he spoke out. By guiding him through a step by step process as outlined above, he was able to reach out to his boss and have a frank conversation where they both walked away with deeper, business enhancing insights. In fact, his boss welcomed the angle of approach and now views him in a different light where promotional prospects are being discussed.
Hold people including your boss (and yourself) accountable is the key to leadership courage and you’ll be amazed at the doors it can unlock for you.
Remember that accountability begins with you – holding yourself responsible for modelling the behaviours you expect to see in others.
If you would like support in showing more courage and inspiring those around you, we can help ease your pain. Contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs and create a plan of action that is YouNique for your situation www.youniqueconsulting.com
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear – Mark Twain