Courage is not the absense of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than the fear. – Ambrose Redmoon
Integrity. Congruence. Authenticity. Transparency. Being vulnerable.
Call it what you want, but this quality of being truly open and honest
in service of a greater purpose differentiates the most impactful leaders.
The ability to be wholly present, and completely ourselves — including that of us which is imperfect, messy, warts and all – models permission to be human, instead of a perfect, omnipotent being.
It takes courage to do this. It means taking tough stands, being willing to discuss the risky issues others avoid, and dealing with challenging issues in relationships.
It means being honest about what we think and being willing to express it. It also means being willing to own our part of a problem and being willing to do what it takes to fix it. When these actions are taken not from ego, attention grabbing, or making ourselves look good, but from a willingness to be of larger service, that is the universal essence of leadership.
I believe our relationships, our organizations and the world is ready for different type of conversation – direct conversations that bravely tell the kind truth, enter courageously into potential conflict, and take responsibility for ourselves and our actions, all while being willing to admit our mistakes and learn from them.
If you want to grow this muscle in yourself, try this:
1) Where have you recently been vulnerable, courageous, or brave? What did you learn or notice about yourself?
2) What assumptions do you hold about yourself as a courageous leader? What is the first thought that comes to mind?
3) What limiting beliefs hold you back from being more courageous? What empowering thoughts embolden you?
4) What could you do with this information to further grow as a leader?
In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Think of a time you’ve been truly courageously authentic. What happened? What was the impact? Where could you bring more courageous authenticity today?
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2012 and has been updated for content and relevancy.
Photo credit: iStock