Two Steps to Overcome Fear and Find Courage

Cowards dream of meaningful impact but waste life engaged in meaningless activities.

The courageous act when it matters. Cowards observe.


Contemplation without action is the cowards retreat.


  1. Refuse to make decisions.
  2. Delegate to protect themselves.
  3. Insulate.
  4. Isolate.
  5. Contemplate.

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. Maya Angelou

Courage isn’t:

  1. Disregard for consequences, that’s foolishness.
  2. Indifference to others. It takes more courage to include than exclude.
  3. Impulsive.
  4. Desperate.
  5. Bullying.

Courageous leaders act when others hold back.

Two steps to finding courage:

  1. Acknowledge fear to yourself and others.
  2. Do something. Any reasonable activity will do.

Find courage by acknowledging fear as you step forward.

Ten expressions of courageous leadership:

  1. Seek clarity when it’s easier to accept ambiguity. Follow curiosity.
  2. Call reality what it is. “Confront the brutal facts,” Jim Collins. Address problems and issues quickly and openly.
  3. Stay the course unless alternatives are clearly better. Cowards don’t have the courage to move forward but want to steer the boat.
  4. Choose simple behaviors over dramatic. The seduction of the dramatic stalls progress.
  5. Trust proven people to step up again.
  6. Connect with others. Isolated leaders have good reason to fear.
  7. Evaluate risks and benefits. Step out when failure is possible not probable.
  8. Remain open to the possibility of be wrong.
  9. Change your mind.
  10. Prepare for success by anticipating reasons for failure. Preparation isn’t passivity or delay.

Courage is a muscle that grows slowly and weakens quickly.

**This is the “C” installment in the alphabet for leaders series.

What other words that begin with “C” are relevant to leadership?

How can leaders find courage?