Courage Today
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week I wrote about the courage that I found in our 40th President, Ronald Reagan. Today I would like to shift from the past to present day. History is wonderful and must be studied accurately, but we must apply what we’ve learned from history to our lives. As I reflected on last week’s email and podcast, I discovered several ways leaders need to live out courage today. Let’s jump right in.

Leaders build up rather than tear down. It is so easy to tear things or people down to move your agenda forward. We see it all around us. It is often misunderstood that the only way to move an agenda or idea forward is to tear down anyone or anything that’s in your way. I’m sure you can think of an example where someone has been completely dismissed for making a mistake among an otherwise positive track record. We dismiss everything positive that someone has done and highlight any negative example of humanity we may discover, or that someone else has reported as fact. It doesn’t matter if it’s George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or Marcus Buckingham, for that matter. Instead, focus on building others up to inspire others to continue to support you.

Leaders bind together instead of dividing. Our society today is focused on getting attention by sharing inflammatory information via various media outlets. The more outrageous the news, the more clicks the article, photo, or video receives. This practice results in the polarization of groups and drives fringe elements to become even more extreme.

Leaders speak the truth with love.  Wouldn’t it be great if tough news was shared in a way that people were most open to receiving it? People don’t react to what we say, they react to why they think we are saying it. If people believe that we truly value them and want only what’s best for them, they are much more likely to accept our comments.

Leaders always seek to add value to others. As human beings, we were created to share with others and look for ways to make a difference in the world. When we lose sight of that, we become selfish, self-centered, and materialistic. As we work to collect more things to make us happy, the reverse occurs. We become more unhappy and cynical. Leadership is never about us and always about others.

Who do you know that is living out courage today? Who is building up, binding together, speaking with kindness, and adding value to others? When you find them, you have found a great leader. If you would like to hear more about this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 227 of The Next Page Podcast as we dig deeper into each of these four areas.

Listen and subscribe to The Next Page here: iTunes | Google Play | PodBean