My Voice

Leaders: Got Courage?

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  • Monday, March 31, 2014
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  • Paul Larsen

Leadership. Courage. Stepping out of your comfort zone. Taking a risk. Standing up for what you believe. Speaking up when no one else does.

Sometimes just reading words or phrase like those above generates a reaction within us. Sometimes it’s a feeling of excitement: “What’s the next-next? Where’s the next mountain to climb…or the next plane to jump out of?”

Or sometimes the feeling might be one of dread: “You aren’t going to make me do that are you? I don’t want to climb that mountain or jump out of any plane. I will sit right here and continue to do what I do every day and try to avoid doing anything new.”

I think most people would like to think that they live a life that stands for something. That whatever we do in life…whatever roles that we play…they all make a difference. And that if push comes to shove, we would stand up for what we feel is right.

But in reality, those “courageous” words and phrases are always easy to agree to when seeing them in a book or blog post. But they are certainly not always the easiest actions to take in life.

Think about this:

When was the last time you remained quiet when you know you should have spoken up? When was the last time you had an idea but did not say anything…only to hear that same idea come from someone else later on. Have you been feeling that you are stuck in a rut but continue to do the same things?

How did that make you feel? Frustrated? Disappointed? Inadequate? Were you sorry that you didn’t do something…or speak up about something?

Now think about this:

When was the last time you stood up for what you believed in? When was the last time you voiced an opinion that was contrary to what the majority of other people were saying? When was the last time you took a risk and tried something new…a new skill, a new activity or a new behavior?

How did this make you feel? What was the outcome? Scary? Exciting? Uncomfortable? Thrilling? Satisfying? Wanting to do it again?

You only have one life. One chance to make a difference. Do you want to follow or lead? Do you want to remain quiet when you should speak up? That is what courage is all about. Taking the small, baby steps into the unknown…making yourself known…giving your opinion…asserting your feelings for what you believe is right…taking a stand…having an impact…having a VOICE.

Finding and using your VOICE as a leader


takes Courage. Once you have discovered your core Values, and then established your Outcomes, followed by determining what you can and cannot Influence…it will take Courage to step out of your comfort zone and use your Voice for impact. To bring it all together. To be heard. To make a difference.

Finding your VOICE as a leader means discovering your core VALUES; creating a compelling vision to get the OUTCOMES you want; building relationships with INFLUENCE and credibility; making decisions that use your COURAGE to stand alone; and communicating your overall EXPRESSION for lasting impact.

Life is too short not to have the Courage to use your VOICE. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to the world. What are you waiting for?

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