I blogged recently about how important-no, invaluable-integrity is in business. As you may know, I believe that integrity should be the linchpin of every business, no matter how large or small. But tied up in integrity is something else: courage.
In business, every day requires courage: courage to tap into a new market; courage to create a new product; courage to prevent and correct unethical decisions; courage to empower employees; courage to take risks; courage to keep performing, keep achieving, keep dreaming. Without this very important quality (and skill, for courage can be learned) at its helm, a business is doomed to mediocrity.
So, what does courage look like in business? It takes many forms, and can be embodied and exemplified by employees at every level. For example:
- The woman who believes in her vision enough to educate herself, aggressively but calculatedly pursue funding, and leave her steady job to become an entrepreneur;
- The employee who knows that his colleague (or boss) has done something unethical and takes steps to rectify the situation, either by encouraging confession or by reporting him to a superior;
- The mid-level manager who steps outside her duties for the benefit of the client;
- The CEO who asks his employees for feedback, addresses concerns, and incorporates some of the information to create new policies, positions, or products; AND
- The employee who believes in a cause and encourages the company to become involved
How have you showed courage (or failed to show it) in your business lately?