Courage in Management

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

 

“Without fear being present, bravery and courage do not appear on stage.”

From Chapter 7 of Essence of a Manager

Courage is the subordination of fear to purpose.

A manager is perforce required to take risk. Every judgment or selection or decision he takes results in actions with an uncertain outcome. The presence of risk and the uncertainty about results inevitably give rise to apprehensions and fears. It is a manager’s task to subordinate such fears and continue with judiciously chosen actions towards his objectives. Extending his capability for taking actions and stretching the envelope of actions available to him are key elements of his core competence. It is his courage which enables him to operate in new and untried areas which are outside his comfort zone and thereby generate a steady stream of brave actions.

A manager can create a “courage space” around himself and as this expands and grows and meets other spaces of courage a “culture of courage” can develop within an organisation. ……

It has always struck me that super-heroes must be particularly devoid of courage since their fantastic abilities must mean that they have little opportunity to feel any fear. ….