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Cultivate Courage

Cultivate Courage Applying Six Components
by Sandra Ford Walston

THERE IS A STRONG correlation between courageous leadership and success. You can cultivate the six components at work. Here’s how:

  1. Clarity: Look for clues about your inner calling. Think about a time and an issue that excited and animated you. You’ve likely experienced this positive energy at some point. Perhaps you have all but forgotten this experience; but if you look closer, you might see that it revealed your inner essence. Define what is vital in your life and escalate your success at work. One moment of courageous clarity can work miracles in your effectiveness and career advancement.
  2. Consistency: Reflect on a facet of work that causes tension. Note your default courage settings in the situation (you might often change your mind). Then, suspend assumptions, detach from opinions and certainty about what you think is true, and take responsibility for developing your courage consciousness and lifting the spirits of your colleagues. Stop to reflect and meditate.
  3. Controversy: At times, you may need to appropriately challenge the people you wish to influence. You do this by standing firm in your convictions and questioning the situation. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Regardless of the cost, do you stand steadfast to demonstrate your talents and stand up for what you know to be right? Courageous, forthright action does not mean bravado. Courage initiates decisive action and accepts nothing less.
  4. Commitment: When you manage how you learn, you also manage your workplace persona, a key to developing courage. When you’re centered in your courage consciousness, your persona honestly reflects your inner being. Success is about developing your identity, your true self, so that you feel fulfilled and happy. Self-doubt undermines success. As the ancient Chinese proverb says: “He who hesitates before each step spends his life on one leg.”
  5. Confessing: Do you confess your shortcomings and missteps? Or, do you respond deceptively to keep your ego intact? Confessing is good for the spirit when done in a timely manner and with positive intent. The process helps you face the truth. You take responsibility for what’s happening with your spirit and address those missteps that collect unhealthy energy. Yes, you invite potential trouble when you confess shortcomings, but you hold yourself accountable and build integrity.
  6. Candor: Straight talk gets attention. Speaking with courage means learning to speak with your own voice. Only by learning to express yourself from your courageous identities can you begin to employ the courage that moves you beyond ambiguity.


About the Author:

Sandra Ford Walston, known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™, is a learning consultant, corporate trainer and courage coach. Sandra’s expertise allows her to focus on the tricks and traps of the human condition through recognizing and interpreting courage behaviors and courageous leadership styles.

Featured on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change in the lives of thousands of leaders each year. Sandra also provides skills-based programs for some of the most respected public and private blue-chip businesses and organizations in the world, such as IBM, Caterpillar, Inc., Institute of Internal Auditors, Hensel Phelps, Wide Open West, Agrium, Inc., Virginia Commonwealth University, Procter and Gamble, Hitachi Consulting, US Bank, Healthcare Association of New York State, and Institute of Management Accountants. 

The internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE and an honored author selected for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Sandra facilitates individuals and groups to discover the power and inspiration of their everyday courage.

STUCK: 12 Steps Up the Leadership Ladder, Sandra’s follow-up book to COURAGE, is directed at any woman, regardless of title or credentials, who wishes to grow professionally by introducing courage actions at work. Her third book, FACE IT! 12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job confirms that what holds you back on the job is the same as what hinders achievement—the reluctance to face and live a courageous life. Sandra is published in magazines such as Chief Learning Officer, Training & Development, HR Matters, Malaysia, and Strategic Finance.

Sandra is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, is a certified Enneagram teacher and an instructor at the University of Denver. She can be reached at www.sandrawalston.com where she posts a courage blog and courage newsletter. 

©2014 All Rights Reserved For permission please contact www.sandrawalston.com or send an email sandra@sandrawalston.com.



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