It has been said, "Leaders are not born; they are made." This is true for leaders who demonstrate courage in the face of adversity. This includes people like Mahatma Gandhi, who peacefully braved British rulers seeking Indian independence; Martin Luther King Jr., who stood up for racial equality; and Malala Yousafzai, who defied the Taliban so Pakistani girls could receive an education. When people stand up for their beliefs, do the right thing, and don't compromise their values, they tend to inspire others.
Leadership Skills of the Brave
It's not easy and being courageous can be risky, but the outcome is that a leader like this will be remembered with honor. Interestingly enough, a team of international scientists have discovered the human brain is capable of learning courage. How can anyone become a courageous leader? It begins by understanding the qualities of courageous leadership.
Being honest with oneself and others is at the top of the list of courageous leadership skills. It can be unpopular to speak the truth about situations, but a person of integrity can do this well. A genuine leader sees the truth and is willing to communicate the facts. Others look to leaders to do this. In a work environment, being truthful about things requires tactfulness and diplomacy but being open with communication and gaining support from others helps facilitate things.
Courageous leaders are not afraid to make decisions, even under pressure. They are skilled at seeing the entire picture and using their resources to solve problems. Being decisive means not hesitating because you know what's right. In a workplace, a leader who can make swift and correct decisions is highly prized. Making good decisions comes with time and experience, but anyone can become a leader by developing resourcefulness when dealing with obstacles.
Leaders who are courageous are not worried about getting credit for everything. In fact, they prefer to give credit to others where it's due. They don't have to worry about this because they are able to lift their teams up and then everyone looks good.
It takes a lot of effort to overcome obstacles, especially in the workplace. Leaders are able to get past hurdles effectively, including any fears they may have about not being good enough or being scoffed at by peers. Leaders do not become leaders by being afraid of change, other people, or even the dangers they may face.
A courageous leader is able to hold himself accountable. However, a leader like this can also hold others accountable for their successes and failures. Leaders do not pick up the slack for other people. Instead, they make others responsible for the way they manage their tasks. This applies to the working world as well as in general life.
The greatest leaders are big dreamers. Innovation takes guts, and it's often years before the efforts pay off. But when they do, they are outstanding. A courageous leader sets the bar high for others based on these dreams and fosters dreaming in others, as well.
Along with dreaming big, leaders who face their fears of failure with no safety net in place are the most courageous. Consider all the companies that have been founded with little more than a few small investors who thought about big things - like Apple, Google, and Coca Cola. Be this kind of leader in your career, and you will be seen as a pioneer.
This quality may seem out of place when talking about the working world, but being confrontational as a leader isn't about being negative or attacking others. Instead, it's about confronting oneself, taking a good long look in the mirror, and fighting the problems one has. Overcoming the self and becoming selfless is part of growing as a courageous leader.
The Value of Being Courageous
Not everyone can be a superhero. However, it is critical to honor and increase courage in a career, and in life, for a number of reasons. Being courageous can equate to being true to oneself. It's about being able to grow as a person. Fear is what holds most people back from living up to their full potential. Being able to overcome fear and then instilling this same value in others is key to leadership development. Courage helps people to strive forward to achieve greater things.
Developing Courageous Leadership Skills
While some people are naturally courageous in spirit, others have the ability to learn to be fearless leaders. Life experiences are generally the first place where people learn courage. Mentors can also teach the skills needed to be courageous. Retreats and sporting challenges can build both courage and character. Religious and civic organizations often teach classes on courage and share stories of others who have overcome life's challenges. Business building classes, leadership training, and seminars often have some learning elements of courage to teach. Lastly, a difficult career can force people to become more courageous and strong.