Navigating the Line Between Brash and Bold
Boldness ruins fools.
Boldness doesn’t answer leadership issues. It causes many. But,
“Freedom lies in being bold.” Robert Frost
The line between brash and bold is:
Unskilled leaders with boldness get into more trouble than timid.
- Visit the what-could-go-wrong office, but don’t camp there. Prudence asks, “What could go wrong?” Boldness asks, “Where can we make progress?” Blind boldness destroys. Wise boldness prepares.
- Filter suggestions and criticisms through the lense of what matters. “How much does this matter?” Distraction ruins boldness, but foolish boldness ignores others.
- Know boldness without persistence is bravado. Brash begins. Boldness finishes.
- Move toward quick wins while keeping the finish line in mind. Boldness moves toward opportunities. Brash just talks.
- Choose what not to do, at least for now. Postpone if you can’t eliminate.
- Build alliances.
- Create diversity.
Boldness whispers, “Move out.”
Caution yells, “Stay put.”
Reasonable preparation answers both.
Growth and boldness:
Growth requires boldness. You grow on the fringes of discomfort where shadows of uncertainty lurk. Boldness whispers, “Step toward the edge.” Uncertainty is the hammer of growth. Boldness takes you there.
Belief and boldness:
Boldness without belief is delusion.
Don’t pressure yourself into boldness. Find reasonable grounds to believe you can find answers, solve problems, and move forward. Keep belief on a short leash. Don’t point it to the distant future. Point it toward today.
Leadership and boldness:
Leaders instill boldness in others when they:
- Start with trust.
- Connect tasks with purpose.
- Stand with those who screw up. Loyalty builds boldness.
- Acknowledge tough challenges. Leaders who ignore hard truths create uncertainty.
- Clarify the path ahead.
- Trumpet their intentions.
- Practice candor with kindness.
- Treat people with equity.
- Say, “Go for it,” and mean it.
- Bring people together.
The privilege of leadership is inspiring boldness.