Be Courageous and Your Employees Will Follow

An employee recently walked into my office and announced that she wanted to be courageous and admit a mistake she’d made. Her courage to speak up enabled us to solve the problem before it became even bigger, and we all learnt from this example.

That word ‘courageous’ resonated with me as I witnessed the positive outcome of one person’s act of courage. It made me think about the importance of courage in leadership – not simply the courage to take risks, but the courage to risk spoiling your reputation because you’ve chosen to do the right thing; to be transparent and admit your mistakes.

Building a culture of trust

This type of leadership builds a culture of trust where employees know that you’re always truthful and you’re ready to hear the truth, which removes the fear of vulnerability and gives employees the freedom to act in the same way.

Nurturing creativity

When our guards are down we’re not afraid to go against the tide and take risks in order to find new and better ways of doing things. A courageous leader will nurture this kind of creativity, and encourage employees – within the strategic parameters set by the company of course – to take initiative, make suggestions, and think critically about the way they work. This will lead to the development of a culture of pro-activeness and innovation.

Integrity at all costs

If we want integrity and perseverance from our employees, we need leaders with the courage to speak up when things are not right, no matter what others may think, and the strength to endure the repercussions of their decisions.

A secure environment

Courageous leaders set the best example and help employees to work within the boundaries, not because of a set of rules or expectations placed upon them, but because they have a strong model to follow and a culture of security, respect and loyalty to work within.

Masks off. Warts and all. It’s not always a pretty picture… There’s definitely a price to pay to expose our weaknesses and to be vulnerable! But having the courage to make the right decisions, and the confidence to stand your ground no matter what comes your way, will produce lasting, worthwhile results.

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