Courage is indispensable.
It’s a valuable commodity found in great leaders. They have the courage of their convictions; the courage to say what they see, feel and believe; the courage to canvas thoughts; the courage to be authentic; the courage to make the tough decisions for the greater good; the courage to connect with the team and clients; the courage to have standards and the courage to role model standards and behaviours.
Courage is indispensable.
Great leaders coach courage in their teams. They surround themselves with courageous leaders by role model and coaching courage. The environment created is of honesty, transparency and performance devoid of personal power plays and politics. Their meetings feature robust discussion and decision making and their team is aligned to the greater good and company strategy.
Ask any manager or executive if they want their leaders to have courage and overwhelmingly the response is yes. Yet we have workplaces devoid of courage from leaders.
WHY? Why do our leaders lack courage?
It’s one thing to want courage, it’s another to promote it through actions and behaviours. A lack of courageous leadership in a workplace can lead to various frustrations which, in turn, can turn into a call from a workmans comp lawyer if you’re very unlucky, so you need to take control and responsibility.
For example, we have all heard the line “Don’t shoot the messenger”. It happens all the time. When the messenger gets shot, there are not a lot of hands going up to be the next volunteer. A leader that “shoots the messenger” has little chance of coaching courage in their team.
The basic need for survival overrides any courage that a leader or a manager may have. The survival instinct kicks in with silence we get limp leaders as a result.
Other behaviours you will see in workplaces lacking in courage:
- Political manoeuvring before meetings for power block voting. Touchy agenda items are removed.
- Silent meetings, but loud “meetings after the meetings”.
- Gossipy lunchrooms and leaders that vent to each other.
- An environment of “Yes Sir, No Sir, Three Bags Full Sir”
- It’s my way or the highway.
- Leaders dragging their feet implementing strategy
- Leaders shoring up their power base for protection.
Team cohesion is inhibited, performance is destroyed. Great leaders understand these behaviours are simply unacceptable. and they are intentional in modelling and coaching courage.
How do you role model courage in your workplace?
On reflection, are you inhibiting courage by your behaviours?
Are their signs that your business lacks courage in the workplace? If so, what will you do to change this?