In the new millennium that
is fast approaching, your leadership talents will be constantly tested and challenged.
Whether you are leading at work, in the community or at home, the courage to explore your
attitudes and aptitudes will be one of your most influential qualities. Courage and change
go hand in hand when it comes to increasing your effectiveness as a leader. As you review these ten statements ask
yourself, "Where do I need to change, grow and stretch to reach my full
1. The courage to seek
the truth. I am willing to seek out
unpleasant truths, even when they may conflict with things I have a great investment in,
or when the truth may threaten my physical, intellectual, or emotional security. I recognize that my personal freedom depends on my
ability to seek and find truth.
2. The courage to lead
an ethical life. In a cynical, sometimes
dissolute world, I realize that it takes courage to be ethical. I resist the temptation to be less than ethical,
even when everyone is doing it. I regard honest people as heroes, not fools.
3. The courage to be
involved. Apathy and indifference can be
more devastating than any natural or man-made disasters.
Despite occasional compassion fatigue, I remain committed to making a
difference and getting others involved. I
refuse to look the other way.
4. The courage to
reject cynicism. Cynicism is a comforting
and protective refuge, but one I resist vigilantly. I
know that trust and optimism, essential to a productive life, are impossible if I give in
to the cowardice of cynicism.
5. The courage to
assume responsibility. I alone am
responsible for my actions, whether they lead to success or failure. I refuse to waste time on making excuses,
harboring unrealistic hopes, or placing blame. I
am willing to share responsibility and accountability with others, and back them up 100
percent if things go wrong.
6. The courage to lead
at home. I know that my home and family
are my most powerful legacy for the future. I
mentor my children, giving them equal love and discipline.
I'm there 100 percent for my partner. I
honor my parents and older relatives, even if advanced age, ill health, or different
values make communication seem difficult and unrewarding.
I live each day with my family and won't think, Tomorrow I'll have more
7. The courage to
persist. I have the courage to delay
gratification, to endure the long haul, and to make sacrifices when necessary. I frequently visualize the next few years and
anticipate the results of my actions. I
summon the inner resources to stay on track by keeping my eye on this big picture.
8. The courage to
serve. In an ego-driven, success-driven
society, I have the courage to put myself second. I
realize that the loftiest leader is the one who serves others best. My job, no matter what the description or title,
is to provide satisfaction, solve problems, fill needs, and find answers in a way that
enhances and empowers those around me.
9. The courage to lead. Few people are willing to stand for something, or
even to clarify what they would stand for if they could.
Others criticize without offering solutions, but I concentrate on what I
stand for, on solutions and goals, and on how I can motivate others to action. I'm not content to wait for someone else to take
charge and point a direction.
10. The courage to
follow. Unlike leaders of image, a leader
of substance knows when and how to follow willingly.
I have learned the benefits of being a good follower, of welcoming the ideas
and contributions of others without feeling that my position or integrity has been
challenged. By sharing power, I increase my
own personal and professional power, and make myself aware of the challenges that others
face every day.
Having the courage of your
convictions will help you boldly meet today's challenges. Believing in your physical,
emotional, intellectual, and spiritual standards and values enables you to apply your
resources and creative energy when faced with problems. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You must do the thing you cannot do. General George C. Patton said that courage is
"fear holding on another minute." Examining your courage and making changes as
you grow in your leadership capacity is the example that enables others to have the
courage to follow.