Great leaders are marked by their ability to bring about change. They look at where their organization is now, see what needs to improve and then make the improvements. For some, however, the process of moving forward isn’t always that simple. Some leaders may feel anxious about making a final decision, feeling unprepared or pressured to make the right choice, and thus, are unable to move forward.
Courage is not always an innate ability, but it can be learned, practiced and adopted into your leadership. Leading boldly involves taking time to prepare and then holding to your convictions, whatever comes. Doing so can set your organization up for success and allow you to continue moving forward with confidence.
But how can you be more courageous in your leadership?
Taking action and preparing are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s challenging to have one without the other. Wise leaders will do the necessary foundational work before moving forward, such as consulting their teams and creating a leadership framework.
Start by establishing your context, or where you and your organization are now, and actively listening to those around you. Once you know where you stand, you can begin to clarify your vision, know what steps need to be taken to accomplish it, and align your team and resources accordingly. By creating a leadership framework and doing the proper preparation, you give yourself and your team a working guide to follow as you boldly step out and move forward with courage.
2. Take action.
Courage is what will allow you to go from where you are now to where you want to be. Once you’ve created your framework, know your context, have actively listened and clearly communicated with your team, it’s time to move forward.
Start taking steps toward your goal in line with your plan. Be intentional about inviting your team along with you, clearly communicating the next steps, and then boldly taking action to make your vision a reality.
3. Don’t fear uncertainty.
As you start to make changes, it can be easy to be intimidated by what lies ahead. You may not know what the future holds for your organization, how effective your plans will be or if they are attainable.
It’s important to remember that you can’t know everything. No matter how much preparation you do, you will still come against unknowns, but that shouldn’t stop you from moving forward. Instead, practice being courageous and taking steps. Remember that whatever happens, you have prepared and have your team behind you, so you can handle problems together.
4. Hold to your convictions.
As you begin taking steps and being courageous, you may face opposition. Whether circumstantial, environmental or in the form of criticism or doubts from others, you will have forces that will try to hinder you from moving forward.
It’s important that you hold to your convictions. Be confident in the planning and research you have already done, consult your team and mentors if needed, then continue moving forward. Trust that you and your team have made the right decisions and do what you can to see your vision through to the end.
5. Embrace difficult times.
Courage and conviction are never more crucial than when your organization is experiencing uncertain times. Your team needs you to lead the way and provide clarity and stability, regardless of the opposition you’re facing.
Be intentional about holding to your convictions and continuing to move your company forward. By staying calm, motivated and courageous, you will help your organization continue making forward progress and come out ahead when things return to normal.
Learning to lead with courage takes time, but it’s well worth the effort. By being bold and holding to your convictions, you can motivate and encourage your team, and keep doing what’s right for your company regardless of the opposition. Leading courageously can allow you to achieve a crucial breakthrough and make a real, lasting change in your organization.