Only the Courageous can lead

Courage is my favorite of all the Fierce qualities. For me, it’s the one that’s all about possibilities, and the one that drives all the others.  How can we be exploratory without a little bit of courage? How can we be real if we don’t have the audacity to be vulnerable. Boldness is what shapes and changes the world - starting with the courage to dream big.

So here is my run-down on why courage is the bestest when it comes to Fierce Leaders.

First, let’s list out a few things that only the courageous do:

  • Dream big
  • Believe they’ve got what it takes
  • Ask for help
  • Admit fear, and other personal faults
  • Seek constructive feedback
  • Go where no one has gone before
  • Start difficult conversations
  • Dare to fail
  • Fail fast
  • Try in the first place
  • Make an audacious plan
  • Admit mistakes
  • Reflect inward and learn - scars, warts, and all
  • Inspire others (Really? Yes… find me someone inspirational who hasn’t had to be courageous).

Ok... you get the picture. If you’ve got courage, you’ve got a leg up on everyone else around you, and that’s what sets you apart as a Fierce Leader. Check out that list… it’s basically a starter list of what you have to be willing to do to create a startup, connect with people, change the status quo, influence the people around you, be authentic, yadda yadda yadda... I could go on.

So how do you get some of that boldness?

Let’s define courage a little. Courage is NOT the absence of fear. In fact, if someone is never afraid, then they don’t really need courage. Courage is the willingness to stay the course when things get icky or scary or uncertain or vulnerable or pretty much anything that isn’t comfy cozy. It takes courage to do something new, to say “I’m sorry,” or even give someone else critical feedback. We’re creatures wired to stay safe and secure at all costs.

What’s interesting is that saying “I’m sorry” or offering feedback to someone else is also how we connect. Think back to our earlier post on being real - courage is how we open up the opportunity for real conversation, build relationships, and lead.

You don’t have to be fearless… you just have to channel your inner boss, get comfortable with being uncomfortable and sticking with it. Through that discomfort comes growth, learning, and possibility… and next time it won’t be quite as hard.

Being a Fierce Leader absolutely requires courage. What have you done lately that asked you to be courageous?

- Stephanie Judd, Co-Founder, wolf & heron