Courage Is What It Takes To…

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


Sir Winston Churchill, the British statesman, prime minister, author, and Nobel Prize winner is credited with having made this powerful statement, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


Most leaders fully understand and relate to the first part of this high-impact statement; “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.”  However, not many leaders fully understand and practice the second part of this high-impact statement; “Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


Experts and highly successful leaders will tell you that the second part of Churchill’s statement is many times harder, much more important, and more effective than the first part of his statement.  Many leaders are courageous and ready-and-willing to take a position and “stand up and speak,” and for most of us the word “leader” brings to mind those individuals who are always “up front, verbally leading the charge.”  Leaders who are comfortable and willing “to sit down and listen” when the time is right are far less common, and far more effective.


It is extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible, to comprehensively and accurately examine your own leadership in these critical areas.  Yet it is absolutely critical to your effectiveness to accurately understand your day-to-day behavior and leadership in these critical areas.


Use 360 feedback, or other tools or processes, that provide the unvarnished truth from people willing to be honest with you.  These tools and processes are probably the only way to accurately understand the reality of your behavior, strengths, weaknesses and critical areas that need focus and improvement.


Do you live, lead and model the full aspects of courage?  “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


Are you truly courageous?  Or do you just like to “stand up and speak?”

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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