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Inspiring a courageous culture

Posted on from The Career Gym

Courage - the essential leadership competency. How can you create a courageous culture and embed it within your team? Paul Deeprose offers his tips.

The Victoria Cross

For those who follow the One Minute Snippets on my website, you will know that courage is a subject of great interest to me. From my fascination with The Victoria Cross, I have been tuned in to courageous stories and through my outplacement and career coaching work I have realised that courage and confidence underpin so much of what we do and are vital in enabling our future success.

Leadership courage

I have realised that courage has to be a part of life and the workplace, after all how many businesses have been successful without taking any risks? Quite simply if businesses, or more precisely their leaders and employees, do not have the courage to do things differently; to push the boundaries; to work together effectively, then the organisation will be stagnating while others capitalise on their market share.

When individuals face a personal challenge in changing circumstances, redundancy or having to make difficult choices, finding their courage to tackle these circumstances and take action will determine their future path. For businesses to flourish in challenging times, leaders need to inspire courageous behaviour and encourage a forward momentum that is driven with confidence and clarity.

What does a courageous culture look like?

I have devised 6 Acts of Courage that if promoted and supported will facilitate enhanced courageous behaviour:

The courage to believe
Have the courage to aim high and embrace the positive challenges you will undoubtedly face.

The courage to innovate
Courage disposes people not to just think outside the box, but to live outside the box. Try new things.

The courage to speak up
Express opinions, give feedback and trust your judgement. You have unique talents; share them.

The courage to trust
Be trusting first, don’t force people to earn your trust. Relax your control; trust that others are capable and want to do a good job. Work with integrity, humility, openness and honesty.

The courage to make mistakes
Too few mistakes highlights complacency. Try things, make mistakes and learn from them.

The courage to take action
Step over the line, build safety nets and the joy of success will far outweigh the fear of failure.

Courage is contagious

As we hopefully ease our way out of this recession, whether individually finding a new role or developing your business to capitalise on new opportunities, courageous behaviour will be essential.

In a nutshell courageous behaviour is motivating oneself to above and beyond comfortable performance by focusing on the richest potential of every moment. When enough team members understand and commit to it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you and your team bring enthusiasm, energy, imagination, ambition and motivation to work, the results will take care of themselves.

“If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can’t, you are probably right.” Henry Ford.

Have the courage of your convictions and take on a new exciting phase in your life and career.

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