Courage is not the absence of fear but doing what is needed in spite of the fear or consequences. Courage is needed in leadership, without it there will be little impact. If those around you do not see your courage as you attempt to lead they will fall back instead of follow closely. We all want to know that our leaders are leading with courage, if not we assume they will disappear when things become difficult.
How does courage show up in leaders? It shows when …
-Courage is shown when … the leader is willing to take responsibility for the movement or lack thereof in the organization.
-Courage is shown when … the leader passes out praise generously and enthusiastically to people at all levels of the organization. This needs to be both privately and publically. Done publically it lifts those people in eyes of the whole organization. Done privately it shows the leader is aware of and cares about others and who they are as persons, not just as a part of the organization.
-Courage is shown when … the leader is willing to say “my bad” or “I am sorry” when they have made a poor decision or acted poorly. Apologies that are sincere go a long way in building strong connections with those to whom you have apologized. You have shown that you are know you are not perfect and are not pretending to be. You have given everyone permission to make honest mistakes. This will give great energy to the people around you in the organization.
-Courage is shown when … the leader is quick to say thank you. Thank you for your input, for your efforts, for your ideas, for your support, for your sacrifice and many more things. A thank you is one of the most cost effective things a leader can do in the organization. Everyone loves to be appreciated and to be acknowledged as having contributed. The cost is virtually nothing, but the benefit is tremendous.
-Courage is shown when … the leader makes decisions based on what is best for the organization and the people of the organization not just what makes him/her look best. In my first ministry position I was an Assistant Pastor to great mentor, Pastor Dave Engrecht, who consistently modeled this courage and urged me to make my decisions based on “What’s best for the body?” In other words, he was saying that we needed to always move forward with was best for the whole church/organization and with what matched our mission. People will work hard for a leader who consistently makes decisions in this manner.
Courage is needed to make an impact. This is not an exhaustive list, and many things on this list might seem trivial to some people, but they take courage and they reveal courage in those who will do them.
What would happen in your organization, your church, your family, or your friendships if you began to exercise these courageous actions? You can do them. Start with one. Then add another one a couple a of weeks later and so on. Then watch what happens. I know that you will begin to see great things taking place.
Here’s hoping you will take a next step in being courageous. Watch for more posts on making an impact through leadership coming soon.