“Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” ―Maya Angelou.
Courage is the first virtue in the words of Maya Angelou. If that’s true, then courage is the first business virtue too. Leadership takes courage. Innovation takes courage. Sales takes courage. It is quite a journey - of passion and relentless pursuit of truth - perhaps the only way to become a genuine leader.
It’s a journey of waking up to our call in service of life.
Courage isn't just about taking risks and pushing to meet goals. It is about showing up with integrity (the sense of being whole and complete) and wholeheartedly. In her latest book Brené Brown stated: "If we want people to fully show up, to bring their whole selves including their unarmored, whole hearts—so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people—we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.”
Courageous leadership is built on:
being emotionally, physically and mentally present,
staying in the moment and mindful during crucial and challenging moments,
taking responsibility and practicing self-inquiry.
I’ve learnt that recognising bravery (in others and ourselves), no matter how insignificant the situation may seem, is emboldening. It fuels self-confidence and power. On the contrary, the continued dismissal of it, keeps us small. If we set the stage for courage, we interrupt the old fear-based habits and replace fear-based responses with responses that boost courage. This helps, in the end, build a habit of courage. Try keeping a Courage Journal. It will help build this habit!
In The Whisper I have used the word courage endless times. It took me quite some courage to write those poems and even more courage to realise what they meant. It requires great courage to liberate that voice that longs to create a world from the inside out.
This is a poem “Courage” from The Whisper:
Courage to have the heart to admit I have been
afraid to be real
I have been hiding from the challenges
Walking away from feelings and their consequences
I proclaimed my courage shouting victim
Denying the necessity of relationships
I realized what I really care about is love
Connection and hugs I had exiled
In the act of declaring game over
Raising the white flag
Looking back I saw a siege
The siege of courage
I step into
I needed affection attention interaction
That fight could not be played from distance
It required contact
In the contact with the warrior
The war field of my heart became the playground
for new discoveries
Sometimes the ultimate act of courage is realising that what we believed in is not anymore. What is that you have to have the courage to realise and that will liberate your new world from the inside out?
At RNEWB we created a robust offering of talks, workshops and programs that use storytelling, poetry and heart in an innovative and yet practical methodology that has helped leaders and teams to reach their goals, tap into their creativity, broaden their awareness and improve trust within the organisations they lead. For more information please visit www.rnewb.com and feel free to get in contact.