“Courage is the willingness to do something in the face of fear, discomfort, and pain. Courage is what separates those of us who want something from those of us who actually achieve it,” Angela Sebaly.
We are living in a time when being a leader and having leadership qualities is not only something that managers must have, it is something that we all must possess. In her book, Sebaly discusses what separates a manager from an actual leader in and outside of the workplace.
The Courageous Leader is used to share stories with her audience about some of the leader’s Sebaly has worked with that have shown courage throughout the many obstacles that life throws at us. In addition to sharing the stories of the ones close to her she gives her expert advice, shares personal stories about struggling businesses, raising a family, and giving back to the community.
Each chapter of the book outlines a different story from a different person and also includes a section called, “chapter application,” which will help you use what you learned and apply it to your own life. Here are eight key takeaways from The Courageous Leader.
1. As a leader you can not cop out - In leadership, you are responsible for the collective good that you represent. When you decide that you do not want to address a problem you start to create a dynamic that in turn has a “trickle down” effect. Remember that as a leader your actions never only affect you alone. Others are always watching what you do and say.
2. You have learn to get unstuck - When you stay too long in the wrong place, waiting, unwilling to budge, stuck in your old routines, life will make an effort to kick you out. This type of pain is often an indicator that it is time to make a shift and create change within our lives. The more you resist change the more stuck you become and the more pain you will feel. Another thing to remember is that, sometimes life doesn’t kick you out but it will leave you behind.
3. Use what you have to get what you want - Going deeper in life and business is sometimes about finding a way to take your current life experiences that you have to the next level. This could be at work, at home, or even in your community. Going deeper into your current experiences sometimes means becoming curious all over again and exploring them with a renewed passion.
4. Having Values is Important - Values are the driving motivation behind our behaviors. They are the why we choose to act in a certain way. Values serve an important purpose for leaders because they provide a strategic roadmap for everyday decisions. When we are clear about what is important to us we put our conscious and subconscious to work looking for people and things around us that will support living our values.
5. Take a stand - Right now we are seeing more businesses and leaders take stances that are either hurting or helping their business. To act fearlessly is the most observable way to demonstrate what matters to you and to model what you expect from others you lead. Taking a stand is painful sometimes and it may also come with consequences. However given that you know who and what you want to be, you will know when to take a stand.
6. Be humble - In order to be humble, you have to love something more than yourself. To become a bigger purpose seeker, you have to get in touch with the part of you that believes in something bigger than yourself. Nothing is solely about you.
7. Be confident - In order to be confident in the workplace you have to do what you fear the most, appreciate yourself more, visualize success, act as if you’re destined for success, establish boundaries, and be altruistic without self-sabotage. Do not let fabricated limitations pass you by.
8. Recover - Like flowers, we as humans have seasons of growth as well as seasons of hibernations. It is important that once we have taken action in the face of fear, we learn to recover and take care of ourselves. This means getting guidance and support from others, building a network, and letting go of things we cannot control.
This book will encourage you not only to dream big, but to have the courage to chase your dreams with endless effort. Once you are clear about what you want to accomplish and who you want to be, you must create a plan and execute it, courageously. You can follow Angela Sebaly on Twitter or Instagram!