Courage is critical to good leadership. Courage to do the right thing. Courage to have the difficult conversations. Courage to make the hard decisions. Courage to stand firm when it seems that everyone is against you. Dan Rockwell shares 4 ways to lead with courage.

Originally published by Dan Rockwell

Skills are a car without gas. Courage to act is gas.

Imagine you learn how to make the best possible decisions. Apart from courage you’re still stuck.

4 ways to lead with courage:

#1. Stand up for something that matters.

“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

It takes courage to:

  1. Stand up for people on your team.
  2. Build a future different from today.
  3. Challenge yourself to contribute to others.
  4. Let yourself be seen.
  5. Declare what makes you afraid.

12 Courageous Acts of Leadership with insights from Simone Sinek and Malcom Gladwell.

#2. Know why you’re here.

Purpose is fuel for courage. Give yourself to something that matters.

You find yourself when you give yourself.

Sometimes you give yourself and come up empty, but when you give yourself to something that matters, you feel fulfilled.

You don’t find yourself in isolation. You find yourself in contribution.

  1. Artists give themselves to art.
  2. Parents give themselves to their children.
  3. Leaders give themselves to a future ideal. It might be a vision, the team, a challenging goal.

#3. Engage, don’t withdraw.

Fear wins when you withdraw. Courage gets dirty.

Quiet reflection serves you, but isolation is detrimental for your health, mind, relationships, and contribution.

Meaningful leadership and isolation are mutually exclusive.

#4. Know what you want today.

Purpose is lived in small moments every day, not giant leaps.

Know purpose before you:

  1. Have tough conversations.
  2. Make change.
  3. Reject the present.
  4. Lead.

Courage is where leadership begins and ends.

How do people become courageous leaders?

Still curious:

Courage to Become a Leader

How to Find the Courage to Lead

7 Ways to Feel More Courageous