Building the courage to make changes

Building the courage to make changes





Leadership takes courage. It has been said that the lack of courage, in management and in life, is perhaps the most critical factor in determining whether you will succeed or fail as a leader. Organizations today need leaders who are unencumbered by fear. Leaders who can guide the company through troubled times and help turn it around in spite of the challenges. Courage isn't something that just happens. Courage is a lot like a muscle. To build courage through your leadership challenges you must develop the attitude, skill and ability to use it. Following are five attitudes that can help you develop your courage muscle:




  Know Yourself; It's difficult to have courage when you're unclear of your guiding values and

principles. What do you stand for? Being attuned to who you are is like the foundation of a house. It holds you firm when the demands of leadership challenge you.


  Do What's Right; Not What Feels Good. Often, courage means making uncomfortable

choices. A difficult decision won't always feel good in the moment, but if you're connected with

your principles then you'll know the right course of action. Always remember to maintain an

ethical posture in these moments.


  Be Flexible And Open To Change; If you find yourself saying, "But, we've always done it

this way," then you may really be responding to fear of change. Fear is the opposite of courage.

Have the courage to corrupt the norm if it means a better outcome.


  Accept Criticism; Naysayers abound, especially when faced with a leadership challenge.

Listen to the critics; they may have a valid perspective on the situation. But always return to

what's right, both from an ethics and principles standpoint, and then choose.


  Be Willing To Admit Mistakes; There may have been times when you courageously made

what you thought was the best decision, only to find later that you were dead wrong. You're

human. Mistakes are part of the territory. Be willing to admit when you're wrong. Those wrong

turns are learning opportunities to be savored! Embrace them and choose to do differently next



Source: Danita Johnson Hughes, Ph.D. is a healthcare industry executive, public speaker and author of the forthcoming Turnaround, and the book, Power from Within.