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11 Elements of Courage: How to Lead with Integrity

February 8, 2010
Updated October 10, 2015

Guy on ladder We’re living in crazy and uncertain times, where it’s more and more challenging to maintain balance and to lead with integrity. But this is precisely when we want to be at our best in our workplaces and communities.

The following elements of courage are intended to help you stay true to your life’s purpose and passion, and in turn your contribution and effectiveness in your daily work, whether it’s for pay or community service.

Paying daily attention to these elements and reflecting on whether you’re staying on course towards your goals will enable you to deal with the volatility of change and the stress is brings.

Be sure to share these elements with your co-workers and your team.

1. Tell the truth to our superiors, to one another, and to ourselves.

2. Live our lives with integrity, being consistent with what we say and do at home, at work, and in our communities.

3. Ignore those who attempt to infect us with their cynicism.

4. Take responsibility for our own learning and personal growth.

5. Initiate change at work for the betterment of our organizations.

6. Persevere in making our organizations enjoyable places in which to work.

7. Lead balanced lives between work and home.

8. Be inclusive leaders, actively ensuring that others have the opportunity to lead.

9. Be followers, knowing when it is time to move to the side.

10. Celebrate our accomplishments.

And when you fail at any of these elements, don’t forget the 11th one:
Don’t give up, keep trying.

What would you add to showing courage in our workplaces and communities?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ellie permalink
    July 28, 2016 2:17 pm

    Essential elements of life still learning in the age-frame of the late 70’s! Thank you!

  2. February 8, 2010 7:43 pm


    I love your lists. They’re always on target.

    To your above 11 Elements of Courage, I would add the following items:

    12. Be a good listener. Value the contributions of others.

    13. Show you care. Your sincere interest in others will bring out the best in them and make your office/community/home a nicer place.

    14. Approach challenges with a can-do attitude and a smile.

    • February 8, 2010 8:06 pm

      Thanks very much, Susan, for adding three very important elements of courage. Following them will indeed strengthen our personal integrity as we lead in crazy times.


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