Do you simply have the courage to lead?
In this post:
- Discover powerful ways to overcome fear and uncertainty when facing major decisions and changes
- Unlock the true meaning of courage and learn to take action despite your fears
- Become an inspiring leader by developing a clear vision and motivating others to achieve extraordinary results
- Take inspiration from history by commemorating the courage and sacrifice of veterans, active military personnel, and heroes who fought for suffrage and civil rights
- Explore the importance of making difficult choices and doing what's right, even in situations where the stakes aren't life-or-death
- Gain valuable insights from exclusive past interviews with renowned industry leaders who embody exceptional leadership and courage
One question I have repeatedly asked myself when faced with major decisions and changes is:
“Do I have what it takes? Am I ready for this?”
Whether the change is voluntary or out of necessity, weighing the stakes and coming face to face with the risk/reward balance can feel a lot like standing at the edge of a cliff and trying to convince myself to jump off.
“But cliff-diving is a sport! It’s fun!” some might say.
Yes, I’m sure there’s an exhilaration, but I’ve belly-flopped off diving boards only a few feet from the water’s surface, and that didn’t feel so good.
So the prospect of what an “epic fail” would feel like when taking an infinitely bigger leap is daunting to say the least.
Whether literally jumping off the cliff into water or figuratively committing to massive change, especially when the change will affect other people – for better or worse – the choice becomes a test of our own courage and leadership.
Courage (which stems from the French coeur or heart) is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Jack Canfield (co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
And leadership is about having a vision and being able to inspire others to join you in turning it into reality.
This week there are a number of reminders – and TONS of inspiration – about the importance of taking that leap as leaders.
First – here in the US, today is election day. And while many are jaded on the political process and climate, it’s important to remember all those who felt the fear and still fought to give us the right to vote. From the founding fathers and mothers, to those who fought for (white) women’s suffrage and saw that 19th amendment victory in 1920, and those who fought for civil rights and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to ensure those same rights for all, we honor all of those heroes by exercising that right they fought to give us, but may never have had for themselves.
Two past podcast episodes speak to these beautiful histories, which you may have missed. The first was with Allison Titman, executive director of the Alice Paul Institute. Alice Paul fought alongside Susan B. Anthony in the women’s suffrage movement.
And the second was a powerful panel discussion with Rachael Jones and Nikelle King last January in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.
Second, we remember that Veterans’ Day is this coming Saturday. Let’s face it, it’s because veterans, active military and first responders do what they do – inevitably facing some level of fear every single day – that we are able to do what we do every day freely and safely.
In honor of those heroes, here are a few other past interviews you may have missed:
John LaBarbera, retired FDNY battalion chief shares stories of leadership courage encountered literally inside of flames, with the fire department and now with the Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation.
And Ralph Galati shares his perspective on leading by giving back. Ralph started in the Air Force in 1970 and had the harrowing experience of being a prisoner of war alongside the late John McCain. Upon regaining his freedom, he rose to executive roles in companies such as IBM and SAP, is and now advocating for veterans’ rights all around.
Even when circumstances aren’t literally life-or-death, choices can be hard, and require significant acts of courage, especially when doing the right thing comes at a cost.
That’s a key lesson from this week’s episode on the Speaking to Influence podcast.
This week, Charlie Saffro discussed how she had to end a business relationship with a client who made derogatory comments about an employee's physical disability.
As founder and president of CS Recruiting, a logistics and transportation industry staffing firm, for Charlie, it’s all about people and relationships. So what do you do when your innate desire to have a positive relationship with someone gets in the way of being able to hold them accountable?
Tune in to find out, and hear Charlie’s take on:
- the importance of resourcefulness and curiosity in a job interview
- how she realized that she was better at being a leader than a manager
- how she strengthened her team’s trust in her as a leader through actions that aligned with her business values
- the importance of pacing herself
So take heart – courage – and remember: everything you want is on the other side of your fear!