Courageous Leadership – Is it your Cup of Tea or Coffee?

Courageous Leadership – Is it your Cup of Tea or Coffee?

“Challenging the status quo.”

“Making hard decisions.”

“Solving conflicts smoothly.”

“Finding solutions to problems quickly.”

I get many similar answers whenever I ask: Who is a courageous leader?

When you hear ‘courageous leader,’ whom do you think of?

What are all the qualities that made them one?

Pick a notebook and note down your answer to a few more questions. Then map them with the elements given in this article.

In her book, ‘You learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a more fulfilling life, Eleanor Roosevelt says, “Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”

VUCA and BANI World

Now, our world has changed from VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) to BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, and Incomprehensible).

To build businesses and survive in the current world, we need courage at a higher level. Don’t you agree?

How to identify a courageous leader?

There are many traits they display. So, start observing and make a note of the same. And see how some of the best practices can be imbibed in your life.

Few critical elements here:

They display genuine openness

Arne Sorenson, Ex-President, and CEO of Marriott International, is one leader who displayed openness and honesty when the hospitality industry faced a massive downfall during the Covid pandemic. He spoke to his employees through video showing his vulnerable side amidst heading the giant conglomerate. His genuine share with humility touched hearts and souls beyond Marriot.

Courageous leaders are open and transparent in their communication.

Vulnerability is their strength

Have you seen a leader telling their teams, “I am having a problem, I need help,” and keep their head held high?

Consider them courageous and see if you can retrieve some best practices from their leadership style.

By establishing vulnerability, these leaders bring out opportunities for shared wisdom and collective intelligence.

Let me give you a simple exercise that you can try at home. First, please bring in a challenge you face at the office and share it with people at home. Then, start listening and observing the behavior of everyone around you.

You will see someone listening, giving suggestions, or supporting you somehow. Once you are ready to listen with an open heart, you will see some beautiful solutions from unexpected sources.

Such is the power of showing vulnerability.

They live for values, ethics, and principles

Courageous leaders are not afraid to speak up when they witness a breach. We can keep on giving many, many names here.

Right from freedom fighters, racist combatants, political leaders, sports personnel, Industry veterans, and army men to simple people who voice against evil, we see a lot of courageous leaders who stand up for values, ethics, and principles.

My question is: Courageous Leadership – Is it your Cup of Tea/Coffee?

About the Author

Suba Lakshminarasimhan, ICF Credentialed coach, supports organizations in building high-performing leadership teams. Suba coaches Leaders, Executives to solve workplace conflicts, build emotional intelligence and manage stakeholders well. With two decades of Industry and Entrepreneurial experience, Suba brings in over 5000 hours of coaching, facilitation, and training expertise.

Add a comment & Rating

View Comments