May 25, 2022

I have a coffee mug (my favorite one), and it has a picture of John Wayne on it with the word “Courage.” On the inside, it has this phrase “courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Every time I drink from that cup, I am challenged to do the hard things I need to, no matter how I may be feeling at the time.

Courage is a characteristic of leaders that people want to follow. I remember years ago when I was playing competitive hockey. We came to game 7 of the series that would determine the National Junior A champions of Canada. The series was tied 3-3, and our team was nervous, and I was also. Questions flooded my mind, “what if I made a mistake, what if we lose, what happens if I let my teammates down?” BUT we had a captain who was a courageous leader, and by his words and example, we played as a team, set aside our individual egos, played for each other, and eventually won the game 3-0 and the National Championship. 

In the challenges we face today, there are many and ever-changing, courageous leaders are needed now more than ever before. I was thinking about some characteristics of courageous leaders, and they are:

1. Calm amid chaos and high stress,

2. Clearly define the reality of the current situation,

3. Get input from the team and value each one,

4. Make the best decision based on the information available,

5. Are adaptable and adjust the plan as needed,

6. Move forward with confidence and courage,

These six items are the "Go-To" list I reference when I need to be reminded to be a courageous leader. I challenge you to write out your own personal list, review them regularly, and be the leader others will follow.

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