Maya Angelou once famously said, “Without courage we could not practice any other virtue consistently. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” As I read this quote I was reminded once again just how important courage is for any of us to make the positive changes we desire in life. Change is never easy and it can be down right paralyzing at times. Just think of any leader you truly admire and I am certain you could share a story where that leader exercised real courage in making a tough decision or confronting real adversity in their role as a leader.
We talk all the time (and will never stop!) how critically important CORE development is for any leader. You have to be able to articulate a set of values and principles and model those on a day-to-day basis. When you do the hard work of building your CORE you begin to understand just how little you know, the integrity gaps that need work and relationships that need your attention. All of this can be very humbling and that’s why the Second Essential of Personal Excellence (Our BTL Process) is Humility. When you start to feel more confident in your own skin and you start to understand this journey of Personal Excellence, you begin to realize just how important it is for any leader to practice Humility!
You might even guess what the Third Essential of Personal Excellence is, COURAGE. It can be a daunting task for any leader to commit to real change and when you do, you certainly don’t want to fail. This can add more pressure and a good dose of fear as well. I love the quote by Ambrose Redmoon, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” I was in San Antonio this past week working with a client and I complimented him on the fact that he has been losing weight and looking really fit! I asked him what motivated him to lose the weight. His answer, “I had some real work to do as a leader and working through that process of strengthening my CORE, I’m feeling good about that work, I can see the positive changes in my leadership and I simply wanted to raise the bar on my personal standards. Bottom line, losing weight is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, I now have the desire to be the best leader I can be in every area of my life……..especially for my kids, my family!”
That’s COURAGE! Taking those small incremental steps that lead to positive change!