Courage = Fear + Action

Oxford Leadership’s Carl Lindeborg speaks fabulously on the topic of Courage in business. Moving and inspiring, a few of his highlights:

  • The reason for indecision or non-action in business is Fear.
  • We are born with only two fears: Fear of falling, and Fear of high pitch sounds. All others are learned.
  • Yielding to fear makes us less smart. According to an HP study, it reduces our IQ by 10%.
  • The root word for Courage is Latin for “Heart”, Courage comes from the heart and the fear we must overcome is very personal.
  • Courage is defined as being fearful but taking action anyway. The formula: Courage = Fear + Action
  • When fearful, we tend to focus on Getting. Getting something for ourselves. Connected to ego, ‘Getting’ blocks us from seeing the big picture of a situation or opportunity.
  • Focus instead on Giving. Giving something to others. ‘Giving’ is disconnected from ego and expands us to reach outside our comfort zones.
  • If we don’t expand, we shrink.
  • Fears are reduced when our focus shifts from Get to Give.

courage4We love Carl’s points and offer our own as follows:

We believe Courage is choosing the Hard Right over the Easy Wrong.

What’s Wrong is often Easy. Easy carries no Fear, no risk. Contentment fosters the status quo and we learn to live with its many consequences. Without fear, things are very Wrong. Comfort shrinks us as leaders.

What’s Right is often Hard. Hard because we feel Fear. Of getting it wrong, Of getting judged. Of making changes. Fear aches. Courage is feeling the Fear and taking action anyway because it’s Right. The ‘hard’ expands us as leaders.

Look fear in the face. Stare it down. Call it out. Move past it and take action.

Because in the end, Courage is liberating. Courage is freedom.


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