Courage is NOT something that we talk about at work. We’re happy to talk about courage in war time or in times of crisis, but not when we’re sitting at our desks or in meetings. Yet, if you think about it, there are lots of occasions when it would be very advantageous to be courageous at work.
You need courage to stick up for yourself, courage to defend your point of view, courage to defend members of your team, courage to promote your ideas, courage to come to the aid of friends in dire straits, courage to do things that make you nervous, courage to go ahead when your friends and colleagues are saying you should quit and, above all, you need the courage to take risks.
So, why do we not regard courage more highly?
Could it be that in modern society courage at work is undervalued because we overvalue security? In this day and age people believe that security is so important that they try to eliminate risk. People are not prepared to risk making mistakes, to risk offending superiors, to risk looking stupid, to risk appearing ignorant, to risk their source of income, to risk their jobs, to risk being alone. In short to risk what they perceive to be their safety.
It could be, therefore, that we undervalue courage because to act courageously might be risky? And risk is likely to threaten our security.
But how can we make progress if we do not take risks?
Could we have walked on the moon if a few intrepid astronauts had not been prepared to risk the rocket journey into space? We would not have land and water speed records if no-one was prepared to be a dare-devil driver. Major enterprises like Microsoft would not exist if entrepreneurs like Bill Gates had not had the courage to take on the might of IBM. Fast food meals would not be so widely available around the world if intrepid small business people were not prepared to take up the franchises for McDonalds and KFC. The price of petroleum would be much higher if adventurous geologists did not dare to explore far flung corners of the world and the depths of the oceans.
Every major advance requires that someone has the courage to take a risk. Possibly on a smaller scale, you need to take risks from time to time in order to advance your career. You will need courage many times during your career if you are ambitious. Ironically, you need to take risks in order to be secure.
It can be scary to take risks, but there’s a great exercise to empower you to overcome your fear of almost anything in The Personal Success Gym this month. Free copies available now.
How do you develop your courage so that it’s there when you need it?
There are two sides to every human being: the courageous and the coward, the good and the bad, the generous and the mean, the sensible and the stupid, the friend and the enemy, the lover and the cheat, the calm and the tempestuous.
In every situation you should constantly be asking yourself: “What is going on here?” and “What could I do about it?” and then “What is my BEST course of action?”
To be courageous you must be cold blooded and you must think. You need to turn down the emotional heat inside you, and turn up the brain power. The discipline you require is to make yourself THINK.
Your 'instant success' action: Learn these three questions by heart. Then, whenever you need to make any kind of decision ask yourself: 1. “What is going on here?” 2. What could I do about it?” 3. “What is my BEST course of action?”
Good luck. And please drop by at my web site soon.
Top international Career Coach David Ferrers publishes The Career Success Gym newsletter to support people looking for the latest management and personal development information to fast track their careers. F-R-E-E subscription today at my web site.
Full Author Profile -->