Sunday, April 24, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person's Courage

It takes courage, confidence, and intelligence to overcome the “ fear of failure.”

Many people cannot get out of ‘comfort zone” due to fears or doubt, or to put simply, lack of courage. Fear has always been one of the major obstacles to change--fear of failure, fear of loss of control, etc. Fear can paralyze an individual to do nothing or become manipulated mentality to spur negative emotions. Fear will drive you away from your personal goals, your ambitions, your standards, and norms. Likewise, fear can paralyze a company to maintaining status quo, refusing to adapt to change. It turns to become such counter-productive behavior when the contribution of others offers the potential to add so much value. To achieve success, either at the individual or organizational level, it is necessary to have “enthusiasm,” and courage, based on the inner strength that is able to increase the quality of the individual and collective performance. So which questions should you ask to assess a person’s courage?

Are you often courageous to take calculated risks for making changes and achieving visions & goals? Passion and courage are the good pairs. The human being needs to be enthused to participate and achieve goals courageously. Get excited about a goal to achieve is a form of love that allows you to pursue it with greater emotional determination. To be courageous to listen to what you don’t want to hear and to have the guts to make tough decisions. Being courageous is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it. Also, be intelligent to take calculated risks. When people shift from a 'risk-avoidance' to a 'risk management' and risk intelligence mentality, they weigh on risk and reward, take prudent risks and find ways to mitigate risk rather than eliminate it, and embrace personal or business growth opportunities proactively.

Either at individual or business level, what’s the correlation between competence and courage?  Put differently, there may be a willingness to act, but an inability to do so. And at the digital age, a “fearless” mind has more bold in perspectives, courage to take actions. At the business level, building a “fearless” working environment means to inspire openness, innovation, and critical thinking, and empower talent to unleash their potentials with less fear. From a leadership perspective, by stepping out the status quo, the fear falling off trying that the unexpected might happen and getting hurt by being exposed in the process is a function of your Ego. There are action steps you will have to take in your mind first. (1). A leader must believe in his/her vision.  (2) A leader must feel the passion for the thing is doing. (3). A leader must know the ways to get it, like master the actions.( 4) A leader must hear others, especially the team. (5) A leader must walk the talk.

Are innovators more courageous, or courage refines an innovator? Innovators have the tendency to constantly question the status quo. Innovation is about thinking differently, acting differently, delivering differently, adding value differently from the status quo. Innovation requires thinking beyond, as opposed to outside the box, altering or changing the frame of reference to create previously unconsidered solutions. Innovators need to rise above the status quo and take on a new set of activities that have them involved in the strategy development process from the get-go. Hence, innovators are courageous. Without courage, there is no innovation or innovators. Don't be afraid of the failure, but you have to learn something from your failure. In the world of innovation, you will fail more often, many more times, than success. So you should not be afraid of the failure. At the organizational level, if the company does not understand the failure, then there will be no innovation.

It takes courage, confidence, and intelligence to overcome the “ fear of failure” - although it comes dressed in many disguises. You need to "master" your abilities and your team need to master precision as a team. This comes from first thinking through the work or situation, continually learning, making "non-repeatable" mistakes and taking calculated risks. Being courageous is not just about being brave or bold, it is the combination of vision, passion, and intellectual risk-taking with high “IQ+EQ.”


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