How does your courage show up for your team?

How does your courage show up for your team?

In this short series of Insight Articles, we explore how Leaders can draw on smart, simple and easily actionable techniques to use three of the most powerful attributes of authentic Leadership to meet the challenges they face.

In the first of these, we explore the power of Courage.

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

C.S. Lewis

Courage is a fundamental requirement of any Leader: It underpins how Leaders meet the demands of Leadership as it is defined today. Yet, the significance of courage is often taken for granted and Leaders overlook fully leveraging this vital asset in their success.

So, how can Leaders use the power of courage more effectively when it matters most? How can they ensure that their inner courage serves them in those moments where there is no time to reflect, consider or assess and where the decisions they make bring raw transparency to their authenticity as a Leader?

How does courage show up for Leaders?

Leaders in the LifeSciences sector make decisions every day that require profound judgement. Carefully weighing up risk vs benefit is a pre-requisite of any Leader’s job within this highly regulated and risk-averse environment.

Clearly this requires great courage and this is evident – day in, day out – in the decisions Leaders make right across the Value Chain process.

However, the risks are mitigated by the team effort typically associated with these decisions.

The greater challenges can arise when a Leader’s courage is tested in a setting closer to home … when they’re out on the front line.

How does Courage impact team performance?

A Leader’s courage is the keystone to creating the platform for trust to flourish.

How you reach for a courageous future created by a vision that inspires, conveys your courage as a Leader. How you nurture talent to foster growth and innovation, engage and empower across complex global structures, tackle overt and covert tensions, address performance-related issues and respond to complex challenges: how you do this all further conveys your courage as a Leader.

However, it is often in those moments when flash decisions have to be made that a Leader’s instinctive use of courage serves them most effectively … or wavers and irrevocably undermines credibility and respect.

Making decisions in the moment comes with risk and risk, by definition, presents Leaders with many reasons not to do something. Courage is what empowers Leaders to recognise the risk but do what they believe is right.  Yet it is the one attribute that Leaders rarely think about – let alone, invest in.

It is assumed that courage is simply there, rather than being an asset to be actively used to reinforce trust and promote the confidence that inspires people to invest in achieving the goals that the team is striving for.

Quick wins to leverage this crucial attribute

These simple steps can help every Leader to keep this vital asset primed for peak performance.

 Build awareness

Explore how courage shows up around you. Does your Leader exhibit courage and how does that influence you? Where do you see courage within your team? Recognise the courage in others and through that, acknowledge the courage within yourself.

 Explore your own values around courage

Probe what ‘courage’ actually means for you. How do you define it? What difference does it make in how authentic you are to what matters to you and others?

Get your Gremlin on Board  –  Identify what you are wanting to achieve

The antithesis of courage is fear – the Flight vs Fight instinct that is hard-wired into your DNA. This generates the raw emotion that fuels the gremlins that inhibit our courage.  Gremlins are there to serve us though – they are part of us. They keep us safe. But, as powerful as they are, they are rubbish at keeping up with the times. They remain anchored in the past bearing toxic messages that are completely out of alignment with the realities of the present. So, challenge your gremlins when they appear. Invite them to play a more helpful role, with new messages that still keep you from being fool-hardy but enable you to let your courage radiate through.

Next steps…

  • What works for you?

Explore how you would include your own ‘hints and tips’ to ensure that using your courage is helping you achieve your goals as a Leader.

  • ‘Taming your Gremlin’

Read the review of this book by Anna Ellis here, our resident book reviewer! If you haven’t already read this beauty of a book, Anna’s review will no doubt inspire you to do so.

  • eMasterclass (By Invitation only)

Sign up for the series of eMasterclass that commence on November, 2014 at 1300 GMT:0800 ESTwhen we will be exploring practical ways in which you can capitalise on your courage to be a more effective Leader.


Please note: This complimentary eMasterclass is a peer forum for Senior LifeSciences Leaders only and does, therefore, have restrictions associated with it. In the event that this is not the right forum for you, there are many other ways in which we can help you to be a more effective Leader. So, please do get in touch with us and we will explore alternative options with you that may serve you better.

PiR Resourcing leaders in senior life science resourcing. For more news and information, you can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.  For all our latest opportunities in the Life Science sector please click here.

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