6 Strategies of Courageous Leadership

Leading is a responsibility whose path can lead you in all kinds of twists and turns. You must make difficult decisions – choices that may make your people resentful, difficult to manage, and resistant to do what you require of them.

Especially when things get tough – like, I don’t know, during a pandemic, for example? – leading becomes challenging. You understand that your people are stressed, and despite helping them to overcome their fears and be more resilient, you’re concerned that this one thing that your team must do may send them over the edge. 

The last thing your business needs right now is a distraught and uncooperative team. Yet, the last thing your business can suffer right now is not getting on with things.

It’s time to lead with courage. To face the difficulty and pain of leadership without fear. Here are the six strategies that help me lead my business courageously.

  1. Lead by example

Be the boss that won’t ask your people to do what you won’t do yourself. Make sure that your team knows you are all in this together. Your actions can inspire positive action and improve morale. Pull your team along, don’t push them to do what they don’t understand.

  1. Take responsibility 

People find it hard to accept responsibility when all around appears to be crumbling. They pass the buck, and eventually nothing gets done. When you take responsibility, you offer yourself as their protection. Under your shield, they will be more willing to act positively.

When you take responsibility, you’ll find it easier to delegate, letting others be accountable for things getting done.

  1. Be decisive

Hesitance is a sign of insecurity and a lack of faith in your own ability. Therefore, it is hugely important for you to be decisive. This doesn’t mean taking rash decisions, but having the ability to analyze a situation and find a solution to which you and your team can commit.

Doing nothing will always result in a negative outcome. So, make the call, act, monitor, revise. Remember that a decisive leader leads a confident team.

  1. Be calm

Make your decisions calmly, no matter how many tumbles your stomach is doing. If things are going wrong, analyze the situation and develop a new solution. Often, you’ll find that only a little tweak is necessary. Be logical, think things through rationally, and avoid emotional decision-making at all costs.

  1. Listen

Your people are the ones who deal with things every day. As you are deciding on actions to take, don’t be afraid to bring your team in and listen to what they tell you. Not only will the insight help you to make better decisions, but you will also help to foster engagement in the final decision.

  1. Give credit where it is due

Recognize performance and praise it. No one likes to follow a leader who takes all the credit when things go well and none of the blame when they don’t. Make certain that your team know they did a good job.

Here’s what I know

Courageous leaders always do what is right, not what is easy. If you apply all the above strategies to your role as the leader of your business, you will always lead with courage. You see, courage is a frame of mind. It’s about getting over the challenges you face, and being comfortable with the decisions you make.

Some decisions will be unpopular. That’s the nature of leadership and business. But if you follow the strategies I’ve set out in this article, even the unpopular decisions will be understood and followed, with you leading from the front.

Tell me, what’s the hardest decision you’ve had to make as a leader? What could you have done better? When you have suffered dissent from your team, what caused it – which of the above strategies didn’t you employ?

Have you explored your capability as a leader? What do you think will be your biggest challenge through the remainder of 2021?

Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll try to address your concerns either directly or in a future article.


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