One Degree of Courage can Help Leaders Roar

Laura Novakowski  -  Mar 28, 2014  -  ,  -  Comments Off on One Degree of Courage can Help Leaders Roar

courage_fear_Mar_27_2014As leaders, and being human (at least last I checked), we don’t always have courage.  When confronted with a challenge we can sometimes feel really, really exposed, inadequate and vulnerable.


It’s not that leaders have all the answers. In fact, all too often we don’t. It’s not that we are the smartest person in the room. Actually, it may be better if we are not. It’s not that we don’t make mistakes, we actually can make more than most.    One of my favorite “definitions”  comes in the form of an acronym FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real.

When leaders waste time being fearful. We suffer impaired judgment,  limit risk taking and decision making ability is restricted- How else might fear impact leaders?

The lyrics from Katie Perry’s song ROAR can  really hit home

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath

Scared to rock the boat and make a mess

So I sat quietly, agreed politely

I guess that I forgot I had a choice

I let you push me past the breaking point

I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything



“Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” Mark Twain. This is a great working definition. The reality is that everyone has fear. Once we admit that we have fear we can start moving forward with courage one degree at a time.

Courage is derived from the Latin word cor  “heart” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.

From the chorus from ROAR

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire

‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Louder, louder than a lion

‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

5 Actions to Ratchet up Courage

  1. Create a heartfelt, compelling vision – Paint a vivid picture of your purpose. Make it bold, brave and dynamic.
  2. LEAD –  Convey that vision in every word and action so that employees and investors will want to invest their soul and spirit into making your purpose a reality.
  3. Be on an adventure – Support and resources can be found in so many places. Venture out of your comfort zone. Join new groups, visit different industries, explore your community.
  4. Ask for help. No one can go it alone. The best way to engage people is to let them know they are needed and that it will take their special talents and skills to help make that compelling vision a reality
  5. Be open.  Allow every courageous step you take to provide you with an opportunity to learn. Review, reflect and reframe your action. Breakdown walls and build bridges.

roar_March_27_2014As 720 thinkers, we have come to realize that a shift of one degree over time can overcome even the biggest obstacle, can make the biggest change and generate the greatest growth. Now let’s Roar!

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