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The Leadership Playbook: Leadership Takes Courage

Leadership takes courage.

The Courage To Say No: A leader needs to the courage to say no. You will have a lot of people from different quarters who want to do things that they believe in. They are good people with good intentions. But some of what they want won’t be the right thing to do or it won’t be the right time to do it. Leadership requires an ability and a willingness to say no.

The Courage to Say Yes: You also need the courage to say yes. Some ideas will be so outrageous and out-of-the-box that, upon first glance, you’ll want to say no. You won’t understand the idea, and you won’t see how it fits. It takes courage to open your mind and consider something new, especially when it doesn’t look like what you already know and believe. But this is where innovation and breakthrough ideas start. Sometimes you to have the courage to say yes.

The Courage to Stay the Course: Change can be a sexy idea to a leader, especially to a new leader. But oftentimes change isn’t what’s necessary. Sometimes what is necessary is leadership and execution. A leader needs the courage to say no to change for change’s sake. It takes courage to admit that execution is the real issue and to double down on what’s right.

The Courage to Change Direction: Sacred cows. History. We’ve always done it this way. A leader needs the courage to change directions, even when she changes the identity of the business. When what you are doing is no longer the right thing to do, you have to make serious change. You can’t protect the status quo, because doing so endangers your enterprise. You can’t protect the sacred cows. Real change takes immense courage.

The Courage to Stand Alone: Leadership is about direction and decisions. You have to determine the direction of your enterprise and you have to make the decisions, right or wrong. There will be times when you will have to stand alone. You may find yourself alone when you say no, when you say yes, when you decide to stay the course, and when you decide to change. But you are the leader, and you have to decide what is right.

Be courageous.


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