The 5 Keys to Courageous Leadership

Do you want to become a leader that others want to follow? Learn how to lead with courage.

I say it often and will say it again: you cannot effectively lead others if you cannot effectively lead yourself, and I believe that becoming a better leader involves learning how to lead with courage.

Why would courage help you become a better self-leader? Because courageous leaders are clear about three things: 1) who they are, 2) where they are going, and 3) what matters most.

So how can you become a more courageous leader? I have developed “five keys to courageous leadership” that can be applied to both personal and organizational leadership. For the purpose of this post, think of these things in terms of your own personal leadership first; then you can you apply them to your organization or team setting.


1) Clarify the Core. Why do you exist? Where are you going? What are your core values? If you are not clear about these things first, nothing else matters. Your core guides you and helps you focus on what’s most important, and it enables you to persevere when times are tough.

2) Confront Your Current Reality. Your current situation might not be ideal, but you must be willing to face your circumstances. Being honest about your current reality will help you determine what needs to be done to move forward.

3) Change Your Future. After conducting an honest self-evaluation, you need to decide to move toward your purpose and vision with an intentional plan. This step often requires you to make some life changes that will allow you to move ahead, leaving behind that which hinders.

4) Commit to Decisive Action. This is the stage where people most often fail simply because they do not even try. Why? Fear. Once you commit to moving forward, you must do so without fear of failure or rejection.

5) Continue the Pursuit. Things will not always go as planned, and it takes perseverance to keep moving toward your purpose and vision, even when times get tough. Great leaders do not let setbacks deter them from achieving their goals.

Courageous LeadershipI’m convinced that we not only need stronger leaders today, but we also need more courageous leaders who will stand up in the face of adversity and lead with conviction. Too many leaders have fallen victim to their circumstances, but courageous leaders rise above circumstances and lead in a way that draws others to them. People respond to leaders who exhibit courage.

Over the next few weeks, I will be breaking down each of these courageous leadership elements in greater detail in order to help you better understand what it takes to become a courageous leader.


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