Bravery and leadership are inseparable | Sunday Observer

Bravery and leadership are inseparable

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Leadership is not about what a leader is made of, but what the leader demonstrates in day to day action. It is about how he or she builds confidence. Leaders are responsible for both the big structures that serve as the cornerstones of confidence, and for the human touches that shape a positive emotional climate to inspire and motivate people.

Confidence alone worked in the old days and we all benefited from practicing it. But times have changed, demanding finer, more aggressive, and deeper inner thoughts and skills to stay ahead of the game.

Consider the level and nature of competition and challenges today. They are unpredictable, fierce, dirty and cut-throat. So the game is now played under different conditions. Continue to nurture the skills you have been depending on, after all, they have taken you this far. But think of new skills needed to effectively deal with change.

A sense of bravery gives you the ability to confront these changed situations better. ‘Physical bravery’ is seen through body language, while ‘moral bravery’ is not. It’s the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition. Both are equally important – one in isolation has very little effect.

Defeatism

Battle after battle is the reality of the business world - when will we see the end of discouraging news and negative developments? - Never. Defeatism is a natural feeling even when wining , as the future is uncertain. Leaders encounter harsh realities but can never show less than sheer bravery and optimism in the eyes of followers. Leaders needs to project bravery for the team to share the same feeling when approaching aggressive battles for success.

A leader arguably should be quite an actor. Changing moods, balancing emotions and sending positive signals to the team is a fundamental requirement in building a sense of hope and confidence. This process has a reciprocal effect – it helps the leader too, to stay on course.

Perhaps the leadership trait most admired by followers is bravery in any situation. Followers like to see leaders thinking big and showing courage. This is a leadership trait most entrepreneurs have in spades. Bravery is both infectious and inspirational – and works. Our history teaches us many real examples of bravery. So its inherent in us, but how many of us use this trait to add something to life?

At the end of the day, leadership is about having the guts to make tough decisions and making them work through people. If someone is afraid to make and commit to decisions, all of the communication and empowerment in the world won’t make a squat of difference.

Real power

Not only does bravery allow you to make the tough decisions that people expect from a strong leader but it’s reassuring to your employees. As a leader, consider how well you deliver a speech at a company forum. If you deliver it with bravery it inspires your team as intended, but the same speech delivered with doubt becomes a point of mockery.

Any discussion on leadership without first addressing the internal confidence of the leader in question is little more than window dressing. Passion? No one will be passionate if you can’t set a course for the future with confidence. Communication? People don’t listen to those who are unsure of themselves and lack power. Empowerment? If you don’t have the internal fortitude to make decisions and commitments, then empowerment is just an empty word. 

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