When I think of the word COURAGE I sometimes think about the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz — although, truthfully, I never thought that was an appropriate name. He was certainly fearful and skittish, but he wasn’t a coward. He showed what it took to be brave when he travelled to Oz in search of the courage he believed he was lacking.
Spoiler Alert: The Lion always had it.
I have previously blogged about courage (The Necessity of Courage, Sept 2020), but I wanted to share some additional thoughts on the concept. As a reminder, here are a couple of points that I emphasized in my previous post:
Having Fear isn’t the Same as Lacking Courage
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
It Takes Courage to Lead Change
You build your ‘courage muscle’ daily, by being courageous in little things. Just do right.
I’m not a big Kenny Rogers fan but his megahit single The Gambler from 1978 was an instant classic – fun lyrics and a catchy tune. It tells a story about the options you have with the cards you are dealt – when you need to keep playing or when you need to fold ’em and try again.
Here are a few of the lines:
Every gambler knows, that the secret to survivin’,
Is knowin’ what to throw away, and knowin’ what to keep.
‘Cause every hand’s a winner, and every hand’s a loser.
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em; know when to fold ’em.
Kenny Rogers The Gambler, 1978
You were singing the lyrics, weren’t you? Yes, you were. If you know the song you were singing it. It’s a catchy tune!
Lots of professional courses, programs and degrees about it — and, there is always someone willing to engage in a conversation — especially in fields like bio-ethics or medical-ethics. One might think it shouldn’t be too difficult to describe an ethical leader:
Transparent … are three traits that come to mind
I think most of us actually aspire to these attributes for ourselves. And, when we are discussing leadership around us, we expect our leaders to have these same traits. But, is there something else — something more? When I see a truly great leader there is ‘something‘ that makes them stand out from the rest — that makes them special.