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Courage defines true leadership – One man with courage makes a majority

- By Dwaipayan, 11 January 2021 | 6 MIN READ


Courage emanates from tough situations - fundamentally it is the strength of heart. A strong heart is said to be associated with virtues while a weak heart with vices. So, here we’ve this question what is courage from a leadership perspective? What kind of heart do we want leaders to have?

It’s a team that wants their leader to be virtuous, who seeks to do good, seek to do the right thing, and are always striving to become better and fearless in the most demanding situations. 

The biographical movie by James Mangold – Ford vs Ferrari sets a dynamic example of true courage in leadership. In an ambitious race Shelby and Miles test the Ford GT40 Mk I prototype at Los Angeles International Airport, working out all of its design flaws until it is race-ready.

But there is a problem, Leo Beebe, Ford's director of special vehicles/PR specialist never a fan of Shelby or Miles takes whatever opportunities to actively sabotage their chances of winning. However, in a display of courage Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and establish a historical win.

Genuine leadership stems from the courage to move out of our comfort zone. It is the non-conformists among us, which I often refer to as sheepdogs that drive change and innovation. The development of our emotional intelligence is essential to navigating our way through the challenges we face.

We must resist the urge to conform to the pressures of the status quo. Here Shelby confronted Leo Beebe, stepped outside the comfort zone, and achieved victory; Fear is always going to appear and attempt to control our actions. For the courageous sheepdogs among us, there are two things even more terrifying, stagnation and repression. Remember you must win the race! We must occasionally be willing to stare into the abyss of potential failure to move toward better results.

We constantly experience fear as we navigate our way in our careers at our work. It takes courage to conquer these fears that turn up every time there is the slightest possibility of failure of any kind. It takes courage to not hide and to do exactly what we want to do and should do. It takes courage to grow and learn.

Leaders handle people. And take the work forward. They are more in the limelight than most others. They need a lot of courage to do their work honestly and take the strides they should and make the mistakes they will.

How does one go about developing courage?

To be courageous is taking action in spite of fear. In the words of M. Scott Peck in the book Road Less Travelled: “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the making of action in spite of fear, the moving out against the resistance spawned by fear into the unknown and into the future.”

When you feed the courage the positive change starts within

When you need courage think of your family, lover, friends, or all the living beings. Purpose gives you strength and courage. Courage is the key to having more abundance in your life, more experiences, happiness, and joy. On the other side understand that unless you’ll do take action your life won’t get much better, it will remain the same or wither away.

Gutsy action is the potential liberator, and you have it in you. Weaknesses are the internal demons that you will have to wrestle each day to emerge as a victor. The best way to build is to spend most of your time outside your comfort zone; Return to your comfort zone only to rest and then step back to building your temple.

Here are some positive thoughts

• Think of what is the best that can happen, be cheerful and you will be winning.

• If you plan the best, you can plan the worst that can happen? (Coming out of your comfort zone)

• Remember the last time you took courageous action, was it worth it? 

• Small and easy victories can deliver you with courage. This applies to all areas of life.

• Change your internal wiring: you are the creator of your life and you have the strength to grab the demons by their horns. Failures are more valuable to successes; they are the building blocks of your temple. 


“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” – Helen Keller




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