7 Ways to Embolden the Timid

The timid are an untapped reservoir of potential in a world dominated by risk-takers.

the greatest factor in boldness is the person by your side

Everyone falls below their potential for lack of courage.


  1. Presses into uncertainty.
  2. Attempts the unattempted.
  3. Fails and tries again.
  4. Says, “We can reach higher.”
  5. Sees opportunity where others see obstacles.

The timid feel great when they avoid risk.

Apart from Courage:

  1. Bullies win.
  2. Gossip spreads.
  3. Organizations drift.
  4. Frustration continues.
  5. Ineffective systems and process roll on.
  6. People who don’t make waves get promoted.
  7. Excuses sound reasonable. An excuse is the reason an unsatisfactory present is acceptable.

Tap the potential of the timid by providing clarity, safety, and direction.

7 ways to embolden the timid:

  1. Agree on noble goals. Be sure the timid care about reaching the goals that matter to you. Don’t impose your aspirations on others.
  2. Describe the path forward in language that matches their temperament. Detail matters to the timid.
  3. Create incremental steps. The bold leap. The timid feel their way forward like a person in the dark.
  4. Discuss what could go wrong. Bravado doesn’t impress the timid. Get real!
  5. Make plans for dealing with surprises. What will we do if …? Plans enhance security. Systems strengthen the timid.
  6. Build safety nets. The greatest enhancer of boldness is the people around you. Identify a person to be a safety net. Be sure the safety net  knows they’re a go to person.
  7. Don’t keep talking about far off goals. It drives the cautious crazy. Stay focused on the present.

Bonus: Don’t pressure the timid to become bold. Even when a small step works, the next still feels uncertain to the timid.

The greatest factor in boldness is the person by your side.

How might leaders embolden the timid?