It may not come as such a surprise that good leadership requires courage.
I’ve recently been researching material for a team I’m coaching and stumbled across an interesting video in which Dr. Jonathan Camp talks about Edwin Friedman’s book A Failure of Nerve.
As the title implies, Friedman writes about our orientation toward safety rather than adventure, helping to explain the challenges that leaders are constantly facing.
After all, if we are conditioned to play safe, then it takes courage to finally address that key employee’s performance issue.
To look at something as though we had never seen it before requires great courage.Henri Matisse
Friedman argues for strength and self-differentiation as the marks of true leadership.
To create transformation in an organisation, leaders need to have the courage to identify their own participation on the broken system, then focus on altering their own role and flexing their own behaviour to affect that change, before attempting to change anything else.
A focus on self will diminish the stress often present when attempting to change others and leaders will be more able to influence others to take responsibility for themselves.
Take a look at the video and pick up a copy of the book, then let me know what you think…