“Great bands follow great courageous and charismatic leaders.”
Throughout the ages, people have been looking for the precise formulae that constitute great leadership. Great leaders are said to demonstrate brave but strong judgment, fiery but well-calculated risk-taking dare and an assertive but contemplative disposition.
Great Teams follow leaders who make decisions decisively but inclusively, interpret situations with sensible and emotional intelligence, display strong confidence yet humility. The golden list of characteristics that comprise great leadership is so long, but there is a clear starting point. One golden leadership characteristic—or more accurately, virtue—informs and strengthens all others: Courage!
Aristotle aptly named courage the first virtue, because it is a foundation for all of the other virtues. In addition to being the most treasured human virtue, it is the most important business virtue, as well. Let’s observe this: Crucial business concepts like leadership, innovation and sales are simply not possible, without courage.
Great Leadership takes making bold and often unpopular decisions. Leadership takes relentless courage, to question and challenge status quo. Innovation involves creating ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas. Innovation takes courage. Sales requires being repeatedly rejected before closing a deal. Sales takes courage. If you take away courage, business sales, innovation and leadership lose their edge and power.
The courage of taking initiative and first action— setting out of comfort zone, making first attempts, pioneering first efforts
The courage of instilling confidence in others— letting go of the need to control situations or outcomes, having faith in people and being open to direction and change.
The courage of voice— raising difficult issues, providing tough feedback and sharing unpopular opinions.