Courage to Become a Leader

You begin with a dream, but the real issue is courage – courage to become a leader.

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” Warren Bennis

Dying people regret their lack of courage. But they aren’t talking about fear of death. Bonnie Ware discovered that dying people regret they didn’t have courage to be true to themselves. The number one regret of the dying:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me.”*

When life is a façade, death is appalling.

A man quietly sitting under a tree. How to find courage to become a leader?

Courage to become a leader:

Arrogance is fear in disguise. Humility is courageous.

False humility lives like a flinching dog with its tail tucked between its legs. You lose your dignity.

False humility is betrayal of yourself. When you hide from your aspirational self, you extinguish yourself. You are less. The world is less.

An open leaf. Genuine humility enables meaningful contribution.

Courage to be you:

#1. Don’t fit in, standout.

Everyone who fits in dilutes their contribution to the world. Your greatest contribution is found by standing out, not fitting in.

Bravado yells, “Look at me.” Humility seeks to contribute.

Standout by contributing.

#2. Go human.

Reject the notion that you are special. We’re unique in a few ways and alike in many.

Standing out is not standing alone. Let yourself be seen without oversharing.

The myth of arrogance is you can succeed without others. Simon Sinek believes courage is bolstered by others.

A red and teal pattern. Think of humility as a practice. Sometimes you feel it. Sometimes you practice it.

#3. Accept your weaknesses and honor your strengths.

The courage to see yourself is the first step to courage to become a leader. You’re good at a few things and lousy at many.

Arrogance always needs to help but never receives help. Leaders who accept their weaknesses learn to receive help.

The leader who receives the most help goes the furthest.

How might leaders find courage?

*Regrets of the Dying – Bronnie Ware

5 Characteristics of a Courageous Leader | HBS Online