Courageous Leadership Skills: Busters and Backers

Courage is often considered taking bold life or death actions: someone who runs into a burning building to save a child or lands a plane on the Hudson with no deaths, as Captain Sully Sullenberger did. But there are everyday examples that demonstrate courageous actions—the actions that reveal our heart and spirit (the original definition of courage) such as taking action to eliminate two courage busters called conformity and complacency. Check off the behaviors you, your team, or your organization demonstrate and note where you’re weighted in your courage branding value.

Courage Backers—Ways Leaders Construct Courage
• Being an advocate for continued learning
• Admitting mistakes (holding oneself 100% accountable)
• Listening for intent
• Keeping promises and stating them clearly (applying sophisticated linguistic skills)
• Asking a lot of “you questions” versus making a lot of “I” statements
• Revealing vulnerability, such as admitting when you don’t know anything about the topic
• Demonstrating positive actions (saying, “Why not!”) versus being a naysayer
• Seeking feedback
• Sustaining rapport with employees at all levels (equal playing field)
• Implementing collaboration (versus consensus)
• Eliminating courage killers such as conformity and complacency
• Reflecting before responding (rediscover silence)

Courage Busters—Ways Leaders Corrode Courage
• Favoritism versus treating people equally
• Focused on their own advancement/posturing
• Afraid to take risks, such as asking for the tough project no one wants
• Disengaged from staff members
• Not keeping people informed (hoarding data)
• Unhealthy ego that bullies, both overt and covert such as “them versus us”
• Lack of transparent communication
• Not organized (more reactive—“last person in wins”)
• Unable to be reflective before responding (“I am so busy” mantra)
• Incapable of admitting errors and taking responsibility
• Minimal insight to understand the human condition based on personality tools
• Unable to acknowledge a problem exists (denial—denial is saying “no” to courage)
• Powerless to respond to “first red flags”
• Perpetuates a culture of corruption: “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”

Outcome of Busters:
• Higher potential for employees to exit the organization
• Demoralized employees who feel discouraged and unfulfilled
• Unproductive employees (expect to be paid 100% but give 75%)
• High level of complacency (resignation to living)
• Lower levels of courage consciousness prevail
• Undetected application of Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) such as spirit contracting (spiritual bankruptcy) versus spirit expanding
• Low trust levels exist
• Lack of civility (and a clear understanding of civility: Free Dictionary Online definition of civility is “polite or courteous behavior” or “the act of showing regard for others”)
• Racket of hypocrisy

You cannot learn courage by doing something you already know!

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