Courage: The capability to hide fear

Courage: The capability to hide fear

Courage: The capability to hide fear

Any boss knows that being in charge isn’t always as exciting as people think. One of the most important things a leader has to do is make and carry out hard decisions. When you make hard choices, you may hurt other people or make them disagree with you, which can lead to conflict and discomfort.

But one of the most important things a leader should be able to do is face problems with courage. When this skill is missing, problems tend to get worse over time. During our investigation, this has come up more than once. Because our brains are made to feel empathy, it’s easier for us to smile and nod when we agree with someone than to argue with them vehemently and start a fight. Because of this, many businesses have a “culture of niceness” that makes people less likely to share different points of view. Even though it seems like everything is going well on the surface—everyone is nice and friendly—not. Instead, being too agreeable when it’s not true kills creativity, makes people feel less safe, and hurts overall performance.

Based on the research we did for our most recent book, developing courage is a must if you want to be a wise, compassionate leader, which is the best way to lead. Wise, caring leaders are able to deal with the hard parts of their jobs in a humane way. This makes employees more engaged, productive, loyal, and healthy. But most people don’t live like this. So, what stops a leader from taking a chance?

Comfort versus bravery

Everyone wants to feel better. Yes, we like to try out new things and take on new challenges. But because it is safer, our brains are set up to look for comfort, to take the easy way out and avoid upsetting the apple cart.

Fighting against our natural desire for comfort requires courage. Not being afraid and having courage are not the same thing. We still feel fear, anxiety, or worry even when we have courage. Courage, on the other hand, is being able to face our fears and do what we need to do or deal with what we need to deal with.

If we want to be leaders with more compassion, we need to develop and show courage. Leaders who are wise and kind do not hide. They don’t blame other people or try to get out of taking responsibility. They don’t worry about making hard choices or facing hard situations. Instead, they stick to what they think is right and speak up when they need to. It’s easy to stay where we’re used to. To be truly great leaders, though, we have to get out of our comfort zones, admit our flaws, find the strength to do hard things, and deal with inevitable conflicts.

Being willing to be afraid

To be the best leaders, we need courage, but how we use that courage is also important. Being open to being hurt is a brave thing to do, and it sets the stage for choosing bravery over comfort. On the other hand, being vulnerable lets us connect with other people and see things from their point of view. On the other hand, vulnerability is often seen as a sign of weakness. No one likes to admit their flaws. When we have the guts to be open and honest, we make space for real connections with other people. As leaders, we don’t know everything about everything. 


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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