By Dr. Kent Ingle
In leadership, one of the hardest things to overcome is a person’s resistance to change. Whether it’s your own resistance or opposition from people you are leading, it takes a lot of courage to effect change. In fact you might say that change never happens without a courageous leader to initiate it. Now courage isn’t the same as confidence or arrogance. It’s a very unique quality that is invaluable to every effective leader. Here are a few notes about courage.
1. All courage starts with conviction
Ask yourself, “Why does this change need to happen? What values or evidence is motivating my drive to make this difference?” Your conviction is the foundation of your courage. And your courage is what makes you persevere through opposition and difficulty to achieve your desired turnaround. Every act of courage started with a deep internal conviction.
2. Courage doesn’t accept the impossible
You don’t need courage to achieve something you already know you can do. Courageous leadership is living on the edge of the possible and dreaming God-sized dreams that go beyond what we think we can do. It takes a lot of boldness to be a cutting-edge leader and to challenge the impossible.
3. Courageous leaders always have a vision
In order to effectively empower others to boldly chase after God’s plans, a leader must have a clear idea where they are going themselves. Vision fuels the missional-drive of a courageous leader. Even though it may be far out in the future, that picture of success gets them excited today. It takes a lot of daring to pursue that dream. But the clearer they can picture success, the more effectively they can posture those around them to achieve it.
4. Courageous leaders have a strategy to achieve their goals
You know, it’s one thing to have someone say, “You can do this!” It’s completely different when someone come alongside you and says, “This is how you can do this!” Real courage is taking the most impossible God-sized dreams and making them a reality. To do this, you must have a plan. Leaders who really believe in their dream have a strategy with measurable goals in order to realize their vision. And that takes a lot of courage!
Dr. Kent Ingle is the President of Southeastern University. Prior to stepping into ministry, he spent a decade as a TV sports anchor for NBC and CBS. He is the author of 9 Disciplines of Enduring Leadership.