Success in not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
– Winston Churchill
This year I want to focus on everyday leaders. Not those who hold a formal position of authority, but those of us who, through our behaviors, have the ability to influence and inspire those around us just by being us. Each month I will post an article focused on one specific behavior that can make a huge difference in our ability to impact the lives of others.
This month I want to talk about courage. What does courage have to do with being an everyday leader? Well, the courage of everyday leaders can help those around them get through the tough times and sets an example of strength and character for others to follow. What does courage look like in everyday leadership?
Standing up for what is right:
Not everyone has the courage to stand up for what is right. This is especially true when it means speaking out when someone in a position of authority is mistaken, wrong, or just being hard-headed. Everyday leaders are willing to put their neck on the line to stand up for what is right even when other team members turn a blind eye.
Persevering under pressure:
We get tired; the pressure starts to wear us down. Persevering under pressure takes courage. When others see us hanging-in-there, they know that they too can do it. Everyday leaders have a positive attitude and know that the stress and pressure will pass in good time. Their outlook helps others to keep their head to the grindstone and push through to the other side.
Picking yourself and others up after failure:
We all hate to fail; it is a blow to our ego. Admitting our mistakes, picking ourselves up, and moving forward takes courage. It takes even more courage to pick someone else up and support them when it is not us who has failed. Everyday leaders find the upside to failure. They admit to mistakes and quickly move on having learned a valuable lesson. They help take the fear of failure out of others so that, while everyone stumbles, no one ends up down for the count.
When even one team member exhibits courage in the face of obstacles, everyone benefits. Everyday leaders stand up for themselves and others when under pressure they persevere and set an example for others to follow, and they demonstrate that failure is not fatal but an opportunity to grow. Through their courage, everyday leaders make an impact on the lives of those around them.
How can you start being courageous today?