By William Seidman

What are we really recommending when we talk to executives about “courageous leadership”?

Commit to a vision. Believe in your vision  — and the fact that it will require some disruption to achieve –in order to get others to commit to it.  Courageous executives have the courage of their own convictions.

Try new approaches and new ideas. Have the courage to actually allocate resources to learning and becoming good at the new idea. There’s often huge pressure to continue to do the old thing. Willingness to push toward an often undefined outcome is essential to my definition of “courage.”

Wholeheartedly pursue the goal. It’s human nature to fear change. Someone in your organization is likely to resist, and we’ve seen many executives abandon their initiatives as soon as anyone pushes back. This isn’t conviction! Persistence in the face of resistance is essential.

Combine these attributes and you have a courageous, forward-looking executive leading an organization that’s likely to vastly outperform the competition.

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