“Courage” is not a word we often bandy about in conference rooms and cubicles. Webster’s defines courage as “the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” But taken in the context of business leadership, courage can also be defined as the ability to talk to employees about what matters to them—and to tell it like it is.
Facing economic challenges or shifting market conditions can be a drain for most leaders. But consider the emotional toll on the workforce. The leaders hold most of the cards. They generally have a feel for the challenges ahead and certainly understand their current financial position. This is when courageous leaders really shine. Here are three things to consider as you build your swagger.
- Reacquaint yourself with your Ideals and Values. Ideals give meaning to your company’s purpose. They remind you just why you are in business. Values serve as a filter for all your tough decisions.
- Face the Brutal Facts. Being courageous also means having the confidence to talk not only about the challenges but also about the need for action in order to change direction. Courageous leaders face the facts, clearly describe the plan to meet the pressing challenges, and then reengage employees to become part of the solutions.
- Find and Use your Voice. Employees don’t expect you to be the next “Great Communicator”; however, you will be expected to determine a message (your business purpose and operating model) and then stay on that message. Remember, you should go home every night having fulfilled this statement: “If you’re not sick of communicating, you probably haven’t done it enough.”