8 Powerful Ways to Inspire Courage in Others


Leaders who don’t feel fear are oblivious to the challenges of leadership. Leadership of any consequence takes courage. Be afraid of leaders who aren’t afraid.

The past is the future, apart from the courage to act. Aristotle warned,

“You will never do anything in this world without courage”

Leadership goes beyond personal courage to inspiring courage in others.

Inspiring courage:

  1. Acknowledge the fears of others. Courage doesn’t eliminate fear, it answers it. It takes courage to say, “I’m afraid.” Naming fear is the beginning to defeating it.
  2. Elevate courage by acknowledging your own fears. An occasional acknowledgement of your fear opens a window on your courage. Danger, too much acknowledgment makes others fearful.
  3. Prepare for what you fear. Are you fearful about your next presentation? Courage transforms fear into preparation. Cowards just give up.
  4. Focus on purpose. Establish powerful reasons for moving forward. Facing uncertainty without purpose makes chickens of us all.

Joe Tye on inspiring courage:

  1. Focus fear effectively. “If people are more afraid of the boss than they are of the competition, the competition is certain to win.”
  2. Give fear a name and it becomes just a problem; it’s easier to solve problems than it is to conquer fear.
  3. Create points of certainty. “People are not afraid of change, they are afraid of uncertainty…” During change, for example, highlight things that aren’t changing.
  4. “Lighten up and laugh – it is physiologically impossible to be frightened when you are laughing.”

Bonus: The surprising challenge of courageous leadership is finding the courage to let others lead.

Above all, courage in you has the power to inspire courage in others.

How do you face your fears?

How do you inspire courage in others?

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