My eyes and ears are always open to simple and impactful messages on leadership.
In the Nov/Dec Harvard Business Review, we are invited to consider that it is not heroism, or only particular personality traits that lead to great leadership, rather its consistently demonstrated everyday courage.
We’re offered a set of behaviours for cultivating everyday courage and here they are…
Start by laying the groundwork and continuously develop your reputation. Psychologists refer to this as accumulating idiosyncrasy credits – a stock of goodwill derived from a history of “competence and conformity” vs. “selfishness or ill”. This is nothing new, it’s about integrity, work ethic and authenticity. But the useful reminder here is that reputation comes from being consistent and demonstrating these behaviours every day.
Then choose your battles. Again, nothing new but we’re offered two simple questions as the ‘how to’ piece… ask yourself, is this really important? and is this the right time?
Remember to persuade in the moment, be on your toes and capitalise on those moments to be courageous and amazing. “Competently courageous people focus on three things: framing the issue in terms the audience will relate to, make effective us of data and manage the emotions in the room”. Like most things I find, our EQ or Emotional Intelligence is called upon once again.
Lastly, follow up. No matter how things turn out address it, talk about it, process it with your teams and manage your relationships. Thank and share credit, call out problems or lingering issues and facilitate reflection and repair activity.
And my favourite aspects to this article are the footnotes – to keep your values front and centre, to start somewhere (anywhere!) and take baby steps to develop your competence and confidence. Through their research the authors have found that everyday courage leads to a stronger sense of self-respect, and less regret long term. If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution, try cultivating your everyday courage.
Looking forward to exploring everyday courage, authenticity and what it takes to go from manager to leader at our Transition to Leadership course on Feb 5th, in partnership with RiverRhee Consulting.
Ref: Nov/Dec HBR – Cultivating Everyday Courage: J.R. Detert