10 Sayings That Reveal The Heart of Courage in a Leader

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As you continue to lead your way through this turbulent season, one thing is very clear: Courage is more important than ever.

What is less clear is defining exactly what courage in leadership really looks like. And getting this right is the ball game.

In leadership, courage is not bluster. Courage is an inward reflection of a leader’s security and their resolve to continually move people closer to the goal.

Some have mistakenly equated courageous leadership with such infamous cries such as,

  • “Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!”

  • “Give me victory, or give me death!”

  • “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

Now, to be sure, such battle cries have been attributed to some truly courageous leaders. But it would be shortsighted to limit the notion of courageous leadership only to such larger-than-life historical quotations.

In truth, courage is more often expressed as a quiet resolve; a tempered determination to resolutely achieve the goal. Courageous leadership is closely equated with humility and a steadfast desire to see each member of the team achieve personal victories along the way to the team goal.

Truly courageous leadership can be found in those who utter these 10 courageous leadership utterances…

  1. I need help.

  2. What is your opinion?

  3. Your idea is better than mine.

  4. I think we have it in us to take one more step forward.

  5. This is a goal worthy of giving our very best.

  6. We need to rest before moving on.

  7. Our strategy is no longer working. We need to change course.

  8. Let’s stop to celebrate this milestone.

  9. Family is more important than the job.

  10. I was wrong.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. The point is, too often people equate courage in leadership to some super-human caricature of strength and bravado.

In your pursuit of attaining a greater degree of courage in your leadership, set aside the notion of being a “Damn the torpedoes” type of leader. Instead, pursue humility, resolve and focus.

Especially in these turbulent times, this is the type of true courage that can make the difference between merely surviving and truly thriving.

Now is the time to pursue genuine courage. As you do, you will soon discover that it is more about your character than it is about slogans and chants.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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