Courageous Leadership: The Absence Of Self

May 30, 2013 — 7 Comments

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This week, I am going to ask you to really think about Courage – it is an important concept that seems to be falling by the wayside. Aristotle referred to courage as the first virtue because it makes all of the other virtues possible. Aside being the most important human virtue, it is also the most important business virtue.


Think about it…

  • Leadership requires making bold and often unpopular decisions…
  • Innovation requires conceiving radical, unconventional ideas…
  • Sales requires being repeatedly rejected and still going back to attempt to close the deal…

Leadership, Innovation and Sales all require Courage. Without courage all of our core business concepts (including leadership, innovation and sales) suddenly lose their potency… withering in obscurity. So why do we put so little emphasis and value on courage in the workplace?

Despite the fact that courage often seems to have vanished in the midst of day to day operations, the truth is that you do have the capacity to be courageous: however, it is up to you whether or not you leverage this virtue.

Let’s face it, everyone wins when you arrive each day with more courage.  As those you lead see you act with less fear and more courage, they will be willing to take on more, manage change better and speak up more willingly about important issues.

As a leader, your job is to demonstrate courage that will motivate others — encouraging them to emulate your example. It is a known fact that leaders who demonstrate courage consistently stand head and shoulders above the masses –  doing the right thing in the face of tremendous controversy is the stuff great leaders are made of.  Courage amounts to having the strength of conviction to do the right thing when it would just be easier to do things right.

An easy breakdown of the components of courage are as follows:

The Courage To Try:

Think initiative and action — be the first to propose/ implement change, pursue innovative breakthroughs and step up to the plate when others need your support and/or guidance…

The Courage To Trust:

Think faith in others — focus on what people can do (not what they can’t), have confidence in people and expect you will be recognized through your employees accomplishments.

The Courage To Tell:

Think challenge — question the status quo, raise the tough issues, provide difficult feedback and share your opinions (even when unpopular)…

In short, your courage will inspire others to try harder, trust more and tell more – in all of these you are serving others first by setting the standard for them to follow. Simple, but not easy – courage is the choice you make to put others before yourself.

More likely than not, you just haven’t discovered a big enough “Why” to put in the effort, take the risk and make the sacrifices involved to serve others before yourself.  If you are willing to commit yourself to making a difference – standing your ground, persevering and taking intelligent risks – you will leave a legacy as a courageous leader long after you have gone. Don’t you owe it to yourself to pause, reflect and ask where it is that you need to dig a little deeper to find the courage to live a life that truly matters – not just because of what you did, but because of who you became by doing it?

Courage will change your life, but more importantly, it will change the lives of those you lead. Our world needs great leaders now more than ever. We need courageous leaders who will see into the future and set the course for others to follow. Make it your mission to continuously reach deep down within yourself and act with courage. Those who follow you will be glad you did!

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the absence of self…

How will you demonstrate courage this week?

Please engage the discussion and let us know your “Why”? as you demonstrate Courage. Feel free to contact me at or by visiting our website at Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.


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Sheri is The Global Coach, founder of Luminosity Global Consulting Group, Global Executive Coach, Speaker, Writer and Global Business and Cultural Expert.

7 responses to Courageous Leadership: The Absence Of Self

  1. sincerely your teaching is awesome and great in term of someone preparing to be a leader now or in future

  2. i will try to change myself i have a liitle courage but need more improvemnt

  3. wow…thank you for your generosity to share this item it hep me a lot..

  4. 2) Interpersonal courage – having a courageous conversation with someone such as giving performance feedback, breaking bad news, being vulnerable and sharing something about oneself and publicly backing someone when others aren’t.

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