I’m sure we’ve all seen the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. In that movie one of the key characters is the cowardly lion. This character is a notable oxymoron. He is the King of the Forest yet he lacks courage. His mindset and behavior are not reflective of his title.
Similarly, leaders often lack managerial courage. This can be described as the ability and confidence to communicate direct and actionable feedback to leaders at all levels, in moments of conflict, and in ways that add value. Managerial courage typically reflects bold, confident leadership.
Furthermore, it embraces the courage to empower one’s team, in addition to peers and bosses, to challenge or disagree with one’s thought process as a leader. It requires courage to show humility. One that does not possess managerial courage lacks the wholistic essence of leadership.
To gain managerial courage one must build and learn to flex several muscles. Some of these include:
· Take the initiative to be a change agent, to lead change positively, to help others understand the purpose and need for change. To bring others along on the journey.
· Be transparent and consistent about self-accountability. Be strong enough to recognize your mistakes and humble enough to let your team know you are aware of them and are open to taking them as a partner to minimize them.
· Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Be willing to be the one juror who says ‘not guilty’ in a room of intense pressure to conform. Practice being in the uncomfortable in an effort to draw confidence from uncertainty or risk.
· Have the courage to make the tough decisions in the heat of the moment.
· Have the courage to lead in the moment. Address issues, provide coaching, give constructive feedback in the moment without delay.
Ensure in every moment your mindset and behavior are reflective of your title, your potential to influence, and your obligation to add value.