Uncertainty about the outcome or consequences, uncertainty about the environment, uncertainty about whether you will be able to garner the support you need, uncertainty about the the response of others. The uncertainty is always there — it is a given. However, our mind usually responds with fear. These uncertainties give rise to fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of looking foolish, fear of being alone.
Stephen King, best selling author, who is a master when it comes to playing with fear writes:.
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Courage is the secret sauce that allows you to act despite your fears. Courage gives you the ability to put aside your fear of failure and take the first steps. Courage helps you overcome the fear of rejection and engage your stakeholders. Courage allows you to attempt things that you have not tried before, despite your fear of looking foolish. Confidence is an outcome.
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It is the result of the constant practice that allows you to hone your skills. It is the benefit of becoming very familiar with your process, product, stakeholders through long and consistent engagement. It is the dividend of encountering the unexpected and dealing successfully with it over and over again. When we think of confidence, we are looking for proof that we will succeed, that our idea will work, that we will get the outcome we seek.
That is overconfidence or false bravado.
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True confidence can only come with time, not a priori. It does help to be optimistic, and you can certainly derive comfort from your track record. Your history of successfully completing projects or tasks, acquiring new skills and maintaining your motivation and commitment can help. However, it is unrealistic to feel confident about a new task or project or skill.
One leadership characteristic—or more accurately, virtue—informs and strengthens all others: Courage.
Courage - Wikipedia
Aristotle called courage the first virtue, because it makes all of the other virtues possible. In addition to being the most important human virtue, it is the most important business virtue, as well. Think about it: Other important business concepts like leadership, innovation and sales wither in the absence of courage.
Leadership takes making bold and often unpopular decisions.
Leadership takes courage. Innovation involves creating ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas.
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Innovation takes courage. Sales requires being repeatedly rejected before closing a deal. Sales takes courage.
Take away courage, and sales, innovation and leadership lose their potency. Contrary to popular belief, courage is a teachable and learnable skill, and most everyone has the capacity to be courageous. Moreover, nearly all courageous acts represent one or more of three types of courage:.
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The Importance of Having Courage
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