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You can't lead without courage!
When you ask leaders about their goals, they usually can list them and even proritize their lists
without any hesitation. When you ask them to review their goals from the previous year...especially those that didn't
quite meet the expectation...average leaders will list the obstacles they faced that were either "insurmountable"
or not addressed. They vow to try better next time.
Great leaders view future goals and past failures
in a completely different way. They understand that success in future goals and failure in past goals is all a matter of courage. They
see that success or failure has more to do with their level of commitment...what they are really willing to do to accomplish
their goals...than any extrinsic factor.
We always begin our interviews with leaders by asking them a very
important question: "where is your line?". In other words, when leaders describe their goals, dreams and expectations...
we first want to know, what are they really willing to do to accomplish those goals...and conversely what will they refuse
to do. Where is their line?!?
Usually, that question elicits a self-reflection on the courage they have to
meet or exceed their goals. Leaders who don't really dig deep will usually answer "whatever it takes!". The
truth is only courageous leaders say it and mean it.
What does that kind of courage look like? It can be
as simple as a new first line supervisor who stands up to support and defend an unpopular idea because they believe it
will allow them to exceed the goal, rather than just achieve the goal. It can also be as complicated as an executive leader
who puts their future on the line for the sake of an initiative they believe in.
We have seen both. Their
acts of courage changed them and then began to define them. They became leaders!