How to Develop the Courage to Lead

No matter what you may have heard leadership, and leading people, is hard. It takes courage to be a leader; even if you have fears that have kept you from leadership roles so far doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome them and achieve positions of leadership.

And, if you are in leader role and desire to move up to larger roles, or strengthen the skills you already have, you still need courage to continue on. Leadership is not for the faint of heart.

Each decision you make in your personal and business life is a testament to your courage. Something as simple as refusing a rich dessert because you want to stay fit takes a certain amount of courage if you have gnawing cravings for sugar.

Other decisions you must make may be monumental and require the courage of a lion. A decision to quit a high-paying job to follow your life’s dream is a major decision that takes courage – and planning. And, some decisions may seem unimportant in the moment, but later you may see that they were life-changing.

For a leader, it takes courage to be open to the opinions and feedback of your employees, to help them see the vision, and keep them on the path towards goal-achievement, while leading by example and not just words.

Courage promotes confidence and self-esteem and builds a framework in which you can accomplish pretty much anything you set out to do. Think of the genius, Stephen Hawking, and how much he overcame to become one of the leading scientists and writers of our time.

It must have taken a tremendous amount of courage for Hawking to work through physical disabilities and manage to keep the passion for his work. Another great leader of courage was King George VI of England who overcame a speech impediment to give one of the greatest speeches at a time when the world needed it most.

Working through your greatest fears to have the courage to do something remarkable can lead you to the success. Here are some steps you can take in your own life that will help you build the courage you need to accomplish anything:

  1. Create a positive environment – Surround yourself with people who are positive and who believe in you. Building skills and talents needs those who will bolster your self-confidence and increase your self-worth.
  • Maintain a positive attitude – Dealing with issues that challenge you can be turned into an opportunity for success. Try to think of each challenge in your life as an opportunity to use your skills and instincts to overcome and triumph.
  • Get out of your comfort zone – You’ll never develop courage if you’re in a rut. Each day, find something challenging and outside of what you normally do and try it. When you open yourself to various situations, you learn to cope.
  • Don’t let fear hold you back – Humans can become fearful of anything. Even situations that are supposed to be happy can become fearful if you over-think the situation. Get rid of those “what ifs” in your mind and replace them with positive thoughts.
  • Enjoy the struggle – Yes, you can enjoy the challenges that life brings if you know that it’s building the courage inside you that will spur you on to bigger and better things. Life’s challenges only serve to make you a stronger and more courageous person.

Each time you accomplish something or overcome a fear, your confidence will grow stronger. Write down your ‘wins’ each day, no matter how large or small, as this will validate your success that leads to being courageous. The courage of a true leader is accomplished by taking small steps rather than overcome one big challenge, so take the steps to build your courage and be amazed at the results.

If  you’re ready to up your leadership skills, or for one of your team, reach out and let’s talk how to get started. Step into your leadership shoes today.

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