The first step in courageous leadership development is to “clarify the core.” If you have read any of my recent posts, you know what I am referring to—clarifying your core ideology, or foundation. Specifically, this involves the clarification of your purpose, vision, and values.
Ask yourself three questions:
Why do I exist? (purpose) – Your personal purpose statement helps you to focus on the things that are most important instead of trying to be all things to all people.
Where am I going? (vision) – Your personal vision guides you and helps you set long-term goals that are aligned with your purpose.
How do I behave based on what I believe? (values) – Your core values provide you with the ability to make clear decisions and lead with conviction.
You might be wondering why it takes courage to answer these questions. It takes courage because it requires you to stand for something, to put yourself out there, to take some risks.
It takes courage to tell others and even your friends, “I know there is something bigger for me to accomplish in life, and I am going to focus on pursuing it, even if it involves the potential for failure.”
It takes courage to say no sometimes, and clarifying your core means that you will have to say no to some things that are out of alignment with your core ideology and beliefs.
With clarity comes focus, and with focus comes the responsibility to say no when the opportunity does not fit with who you are, where you are going, and what you believe in.
To learn more about this first key to courageous leadership, you can watch this video of me speaking on this topic: