The word “courage” derives from the French word for the heart, once thought to be the seat of our emotions. It begins with independence of thought, born from spiritual and emotional maturity, and it manifests itself through willingness to challenge the status quo and the mainstream when they are wrong or serve no purpose.
Courage demands the creativity to offer constructive and effective alternatives, the energy to overcome barriers to action and the integrity to stand by one’s convictions in the face of opposition. Put simply, courageous leaders never refuse to make difficult decisions, do not delegate responsibility to others and do not back down in the face of subtle or overt intimidation.
Within an organisation, this could mean challenging inappropriate behaviour from a colleague, fundamentally reshaping the corporate approach or managing resistance to a new strategic mindset.