To Be A Visionary, Have Courage
March 02, 2022
The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center
Courage is the common trait in leaders who are considered visionary disruptors.
Being a leader, unlike being a manager, requires a lot of characteristics and these are all magnified with today’s evolving work environments. Empathy, passion, accountability, and mindfulness are all important. Many leaders, even great ones, don’t all have the exact same set of traits. However, for leaders who are truly visionaries, the ones who innovate and challenge the status quo, the common trait is courage.
Courage is a trait from which all leaders can benefit.
There are obvious situations when you’d need to demonstrate courage, such as if you’re asked to do something unethical or illegal. It’s the smaller, every day situations that require more work to show courage. In these instances, the stakes are presumed to be lower.
If you hear someone making an unprofessional comment, are you letting them know those comments aren’t appreciated or accepted in your organization? There are so many instances when we just “let it go.” This may be because we think it’s not worth getting involved, pushing back, or making anyone not like us. But, these are all small instances of how we can develop and demonstrate courage.
Whether you’re working remotely or have been able to maintain your in-person work environment, it’s vital show your team you have the courage to carry through with your intentions. Even if your best intentions don’t come to fruition, your team will respect you for having the courage and tenacity to follow-through. This is true if you’re a visionary or not.
Don’t worry if you’re not naturally a visionary. You can still be a great leader.
There are scores of amazing leaders (perhaps even you!) who don’t have the traits more common in visionary leaders. This doesn’t mean that these leaders aren’t courageous or don’t have the tenacity to stick with an idea. Nor does it make them ineffective leaders. Not being a visionary can provide a helpful counterbalance for your organization’s future.