Our working definition of the Value of Courage is:
The demonstration of the ability to be brave in facing possible danger and hardship by drawing upon an inner strength of character to stand firm on matters of personal principles and conviction.
The synonyms for the Value of Courage are:
Bravery, Nerve, Dauntlessness, Daring, Fearlessness, Fortitude, Gallantry, Gameness, Intrepidity, Mettle, Boldness, Pluck, Spirit, Valor
Courage is the dominant Leadership Value in Leadership Development Quadrant 2, and therefore is singled out in this quadrant for special emphasis. In doing so it is important to understand that the Value of Courage, along with the strong supportive role of the associated values of, Integrity, Achievement, and Responsibility all interact to become “the tracks to run on” for the developing Personality Characteristic of +Attitude of Expectation.
Leaders who model the Value of Courage:
- Follow their principles and hold true to their convictions, even if it is unpopular, or problematic
- Show the Moral strength of conscience to do what is right, even in the face of great fear or possible harm
- Display the Courage to take Responsibility for all their words, decisions, and actions
- Are willing to bravely endure and persevere in the face of adversity, even under peril or difficulty
- Have the character to know enough to care enough to attempt difficult challenges for the greater good of all
- Understand the higher the consequences; the greater the uncertainty of the outcome; the greater the level of Courage required; the higher the Achievement
- Know that on matters of principle & moral conscience, simply doing good enough is not enough when your best is yet to be given
- Understand the stronger the belief in what is right and just, the greater the personal need for showing the Courage to achieve and up-hold it
- Recognize Courage, along with Responsibility, and Integrity are the values that drive the Achievement of equality, freedom, fairness, and justice for all
- Know the Courage to do the right thing is contagious
- Have the Courage and Integrity to protect and help those less fortunate, disadvantaged, or in great need
- Understand that you haven't failed untill you quit trying
To honor the Courage of your convictions is to validate your moral conscience and uphold the many interrelated principles inherent in all of your personal values. For example, it takes Courage to act with Integrity, and it takes Integrity to act with Courage. The goal-orientated values of Responsibility and Achievement are born of also having the requisite Integrity and Courage to do our best and always strive to be our best. These are the foundation values, which form the cornerstones of our Character. Courage plays an important supportive role in the formation and demonstration of each or these equally important core values.
Experience teaches that the higher the consequences, and the greater the uncertainty of the outcome, the greater is the level of Courage that is required to meet the challenge. It is also true that the stronger the belief in what is right and just, the greater is the will to exercise the necessary Courage to achieve and uphold it.
Courage can take many forms, and is acted out in many venues, for example; Moral Courage, Physical Courage, Intellectual Courage, and Emotional Courage are all acted out on “moral grounds”, playgrounds, classrooms, boardrooms, and on the many stages of life. While form and venue may vary, the one constant is that Courage always comes from within born of our personal values, and a strong will to defend them, even at high cost.