Sunday, December 16, 2018

An Opportunity for Courageous Leadership

Courageous Leadership is not bravado. It’s leading from the heart, and aligning one’s actions with beliefs. It’s doing the hard stuff because it has to be done, and being truthful through the process. I believe it’s one of the most important qualities of a leader. 
                    ~ Jennifer Hogan, Handbook for Courageous Leadership

Below is a collaborative post from Dennis Griffin and me. Dennis reached out to me on Voxer after reading my e-book, and after a few conversations, we knew that we wanted to create an opportunity to collaborate with others around the action of facing our fears as we lean into courage in the new year. We hope you will join us!

I (Jennifer) used to think that courageous leadership meant being willing to make decisions that people wouldn’t like. Also, in my naivety, I thought that courage was something that had to be summoned up… called for, if you will, before doing the things that others didn’t want to do. Now, as I have grown in my leadership experience because of my connection with others via my online P²LN, I realize that courage is not the opposite of fear. 

We all have fears, and we can all be courageous. As I have explored the concept of being a courageous leader, I had to research fear and how fear drives many of the decisions we make as humans and social beings. Being able to share what I have learned through my writings and empower others through coaching to name, claim, and face their fears have been some of the most rewarding experiences of which I have been a part.

What is Courageous Leadership? 

I (Dennis) have to admit the media had greatly influenced what I thought Courageous Leadership was. Courageous Leadership had been depicted as the protagonist looking fear square in the eye and overcoming conflict that had a definitive right and wrong. Of course, in the movies, the protagonist was always on the side of righteousness. Our world has taught us that righteousness is not always the determining factor in what many deem as leadership. Power, privilege, and personal perspective have often dictated decisions that have not necessarily served the greater good. 

On my leadership journey I have questioned, how was it possible for so many individuals to take the same leadership classes, read the same leadership books, and turn around and allow so many injustices to go unaddressed and empower the status quo? 

Gus Lee, the author of Courage: The Backbone Of Leadership, may have summarized what stops courageous leadership when he stated, “being isolated in a relational society feels like death.” We live in a society where people want to belong to something. I can remember as a student there were times when I acted differently to be accepted by my peers. I am glad that I experienced that for now I truly appreciate being the authentic version of myself. 

Along with Jennifer and the book study group, I hope to answer this question: Is it possible that our ability to empower others (which I believe is the highest level of leadership) to make change is directly connected with our fears of how we think society will judge us?

We are cordially inviting you to come and learn with us during the month of January for the Courageous Leadership Book Study at the following times:

Sundays in January
7:30 - 8:00pm, CST
Week 1: Chapters 1-2  January 6
Week 2: Chapters 3-5  January 13
Week 3: Chapters 6-7   January 20
Week 4: Chapters 8-9  January 27

We have three primary goals for The Courageous Leadership Book Study:

  1. To create a space to learn and share about Courageous Leadership.
  2. To build our capacity as Courageous Leaders. 
  3. Develop a #PLN of Courageous Leaders to counter the effects of isolation.

One way or another, your leadership will make a difference by creating change or by reinforcing the systems that are currently operating and defining our world. 

Fear, doubt, and conflict will always be present as you begin to venture into the unknown; however, your Courageous Leadership is not just for you. Your Courageous Leadership can potentially create a life altering difference in the lives of those you serve on our journey to a better tomorrow.  

We hope you will join us as we kick off the new year facing our fears! 

Lee, G., & Elliott-Lee, D. (2006). Courage: the backbone of leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hogan, J. (2016). Handbook for Courageous Leadership. Birmingham, AL: 

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