Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

Courage – The Third of Three Core Competencies in Leaders Worth Following

Courage is the prerequisite for putting into practice Humility and Empathy, the trio of virtues that are the hallmark of Leaders Worth Following highlighted in the December Handler Report, The 2021 Edition of Leadership Competencies.”

It takes courage to be humble and show empathy because both create opportunities for vulnerability and rejection, which is why those two qualities are quite rare. This past year taught us a lot about courageous leadership.

Courage is the quality in Leaders Worth Following requiring action in the face of fear. Courage commits us to do the right thing, even when there is extreme pressure to do the wrong thing from the media, culture, family, peers, or superiors.

Courageous leaders face not only their fears but also the fears of the employees in their care. Here are three insights to help you detect courage in candidates. Will they be “worth following?”

  1. Courage embraces the brutal facts of every business challenge. While they may require messengers of bad news to bring a potential solution, they don’t hide from the truth or problems.
  2. Courage counts the cost of inaction. One of the most motivating factors, when fear falls, is taking a sobering account of what will likely happen to an organization if no action is taken. From a fully-informed perspective, courage overcomes paralysis.
  3. Courageous leaders focus on legacy. They are mindful every decision charts a path and direction for their business and seek to ensure decisions will result in the life-defining influence of those in their care.

Courage, Humility, Empathy – all qualities of Leaders Worth Following – are contagious in corporate cultures. They call forth the best of humanity and are worthy of cultivating in ourselves and others.

Additional Resource: Click here to listen to two minutes of insights from Simon Sinek on why courage is the No. 1 quality leaders need today, and how to build it.