Thursday, October 25, 2007

Courage in Leadership

Last week, I had to present a synopsis of a chapter from a book I read about leadership.
This is an outline of what I presented and wanted to share:

Next Generation Leader - Five Essentials For Those Who Will Shape The Future.
Andy Stanley

Leadership is synonymous with Courage. You have to be courageous to be a leader. Courageous leaders do the following four things where others might not.

1. Change
Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's courage. --Anais Nin
Progress requires change and growth requires progress.
Courage to act on what needs to be changed defines a leader.
Leaders take people places they’ve never been before.
Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. And once they move away from the pack, they are positioned to lead.

2. Risk
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.- Anais Nin
Courage is not necessarily the absence of fear.
Leaders generally regret missed opportunities, not risks taken.
Eventually a leader’s lust for progress overwhelms his reluctance to take risks.
Failure is part of success.

Think back to a missed opportunity and to a failure? Do you have more regrets for the missed opportunity or the failure?

3. Opportunity
“Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” 1 Samuel 17:8-9 (Story of David and Goliath)

Where there is great fear there is often great opportunity.
Identifying and acting on opportunities define leadership - For instance, David was had fear of Goliath like everyone else but he seized the opportunity to become great and went on even though he was fearful. Everyone else saw it - he acted on it.

4. Caution
God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.

Leaders worth following are always careful.
Leaders understand the unique roles of confidence and caution. Courage requires both. David’s caution did not keep him from the battle, but neither did he allow his confidence to blind him the need to select his stones with care.

Are you careful or fearful in your leadership?

1. The Courage to say No!
Saying no can be the ultimate self-care. --Claudia Black

Opportunity does not equal obligation.
Create a "Stop Doing" list.
Good opportunities can divert from one great opportunity!
Fear keeps us from saying no!

2. Facing Reality
Refusing to accept reality is called denial - it is a sickness and unhealthy.
We can lose sight of what is actually happening around us.
Leaders worth following face reality even if embarrassing.

3. Dream
Dream no small dreams, for they stir not the hearts of men.

Must allow your mind to dream of what could be.
No brackets on thinking.
What could it be? What should it be?

1 comment:

Susan Kledzik said...

This is a great summary of the book. I've just been recently intorduced to it. I appreciate you in taking the time to summarize the main points and ideas in a way that touches what is most important and worthwile:)

I look forward to looking into more of your blog posts:)

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